The No. 9 ranked Stephenson Jaguars and No. 5 ranked Tucker Tigers moved one step closer to a rematch of Stephenson's 13-6 regular season win with Class AAAAA state high school football playoffs second round victories on Friday night.
The Jaguars knocked off No. 3 ranked East Paulding 35-7 on the road in the Boneyard behind Evan Jones second consecutive 100-yard rushing game of the state playoffs.
Jones who had 114 yards in a round one 31-11 victory over Pope a week ago ran for 172 yards on 22 carries and scored two second half touchdowns as the Jaguars pulled away from a 7-6 halftime lead.
Jones made it 14-6 with 6:47 to play in the third quarter as he broke away for a 55-yard touchdown run and following a Cameron Glenn interception of an East Paulding pass the score went to 21-7 as Justin Holman connected with Dexter Neal for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Wisdom Nzidee hit both point after kicks.
The lead expanded to 28-6 early in the fourth quarter as Jones took it into the end zone from five yards out. DeJuan Beck made the final margin of 35-7 with an 18-yard touchdown run later in the fourth quarter. Nzidee was good on both point after attempts.
While Jones and his offensive teammates were expanding the lead the Jaguar defense was putting the squeeze on the East Paulding offense only allowing
37 second half yards and only 150 for the game. East Paulding's rushing attack is led by a pair of 1,000 yard rushers, but the duo was held to a combined 87 yards in the game.
Holman had given the Jaguars a 7-0 lead in the second quarter on a one-yard run before East Paulding managed a pair of field goals to trim it to the 7-6 halftime margin.
The Jaguars (9-2) move on to face Ware County (11-1) on the road in the quarterfinals on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Tucker 40, North Paulding 21
The No. 5 ranked Tucker Tigers shut down the high scoring North Paulding offense in the second half on the way to a 40-21 Class AAAAA second round playoff victory at Adams Stadium on Friday night.
Juwaan Williams ran for three touchdowns, two in the second half, to go with 140 yards rushing and the Tigers rolled up over 500 yards on the ground in the victory.
The Tigers had gotten out to a 20-6 lead in the first half only to see it cut to 20-13 as North Paulding scored with less than a minute to play in the second quarter. North Paulding then took a brief 21-20 lead early in the second half before Tiger defense clamped down.
Williams scored his two second half touchdowns at the Tigers pulled away for the 19-point victory. Dallas Rivers had a 90-yard touchdown run and Dominick Sanders contributed another from 75 yards out in the win.
The Tigers move on to a rematch with No. 1 Northside-Warner Robins in last year's exciting Class AAAA semifinal game they won 17-16. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. in Warner Robins.
Allatoona 20, M.L. King 19
Allatoona rallied for two fourth quarter touchdowns to nip the No. 2 ranked Martin Luther King Jr. Lions 20-19 at Hallford Stadium on Friday.
The Lions (11-1) had fallen behind 6-0 early but rallied to take a 12-6 lead at the half as Roland Rivers passed 20 yard to Demarquis Polite-Bray and 27 yards to Rashard Oglesby for touchdowns to take the lead.
Rivers then hit Donald Clark for 49 yards and another score in the third quarter for the 19-6 lead before No. 10 ranked Allatoona rallied and then intercepted a pass at the Allatoona nine-yard line as the Lions were driving for what looked to be the winning score in the final minute of play.
DeKalb Co. Playoff Results
Friday, Nov. 23
Tucker (10-2) 40, North Paulding (8-4) 21 Allatoona (11-1) 20, M.L. King (11-1) 19 Stephenson (9-2) 35, East Paulding (11-1) 7