Terrell Academy (6-5) at Memorial Day (10-2)
WHO/REGION/SEED: Terrell Academy (GISA Region 2-A, No. 2) at Region 1-A, No. 1).
When/Where: 7:30 p.m. today in Savannah.
X-FACTOR: Terrell Academy's depth in the backfield. Star running back Josh Wardrip was injured in last week's opening-round playoff game against Briarwood and won't play tonight, which is a huge blow to his team's chances against powerhouse Memorial Day. Wardrip has led the Eagles all season, scoring four touchdowns in two different games. Now coach Bill Murdock will be looking for sophomore Gray Rowe and juniors Blake Grimsley and Logan Maxwell to carry the ball against a Memorial Day team that has won eight games in a row.
ANALYSIS: Memorial Day is arguably the most athletic team in GISA Class A and has speed everywhere. There's also a chip on Memorial Day's shoulder because of the loss at home in the state final to Westwood a year ago and the desire to get back to the state championship for possibly another shot at Westwood. Terrell Academy will have to play an error free-game to pull off the upset, and someone will have to step up to replace Wardrip.
THEY SAID IT: "Memorial is kind of intimidating with the teams they have played, but I told our guys to just get after them. Memorial is human just like everybody else." --- Terrell Academy coach Bill Murdock.
IF WIN: Will face the winner of Westwood (Region 3, No. 1 seed) vs. Thomas Jefferson (Region 1, No. 2 seed) on Nov. 25.
Thomas Jefferson (10-2) at Westwood (11-0)
WHO/REGION/SEED: Thomas Jefferson (GISA Region 1-A, No. 2 seed) at Westwood (GISA Region 2-A, No. 1 seed).
When/Where: 7:30 p.m. today in Camilla.
X-FACTORS: Westwood's offense. Westwood's offense has looked unstoppable, and will once again be the biggest factor. QB Mason Worsham completed 10-of-18 passes for 188 yards and also ran for 59 yards on four carries last week in a 48-7 win against Covenant. His numbers could be bigger tonight, because he will be in the game in the second half. Caleb Morrell is coming off a huge game in which he had six receptions for 126 yards and a TD, and also ran back a kickoff 95 yards for a TD. Those two players and running back J.T. Edore (94 yards and three TDs on just 12 carries last week) will test Thomas Jefferson's defense from the first snap of the ball.
ANALYSIS: Thomas Jefferson will be the best team Westwood has faced this season, and that alone will test the Wildcats, who have rolled over everyone. But -- as if this team needed any extra motivation -- Thomas Jefferson was also the last team to beat Westwood. That was two years ago in the playoffs. Westwood has won 24 games in a row since, and has a goal to repeat as an undefeated state champ. Westwood's offense is averaging more than 50 points a game, and the first-team defense has not given up a touchdown since the first game of the season against Class AA Georgia Southwest Academy. Thomas Jefferson beat Covenant, 32-14, two weeks ago. Westwood beat Covenant 48-7, with a running clock in the second half last week.
THEY SAID IT: "They were the last team to beat us. I'm glad we're getting another shot at them.'' -- Westwood coach Ross Worsham.
IF WIN: Will face winner of Terrell Academy (Region 2-A, No. 2) vs. Memorial Day (Region 1-A, No. 1) on Nov. 25.