Here is a look at the playoff action from around the area:
Central 34 vs Lee 27
A game that was filled with just about everything. A surprise came in the form of a soldier returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan to see his son before the game. The game ended with a score in the last minute to send the Central High Red Devils to the next round of the playoffs. It was a wild game with a berth in the state championship game on the line.
The game started with festivities that captivated the crowd in attendance. Central’s Angel Gil-Rodriguez was standing at midfield during the presentation of the colors. Sgt. Maj. Jose Rodriguez, his dad, who was suppose to be in Afghanistan finishing up his seventh tour of duty, instead surprised him while he was standing at midfield. The pair hugged before the kickoff.
Central jumped out to a 7-0 lead when Joseph McKay took off on an 80-yard touchdown run. The Lee Generals would answer with a touchdown of its own. Then tacked on another before the half to go into the locker room 14-7.
Lee would come out of the half and force a big turnover to add to its lead. Central seemed to be fading at this point. Damon Jones would help Central stay in the game with a touchdown to bring the game back within seven. The gap would once again widen as Lee went up 27-14.
It looked as though that would be the score heading to the fourth quarter but Central found the end zone in the final moments of the third quarter. It was a bit of foreshadowing for the final quarter.
The teams would trade stops for much of the last quarter but Central would tie the ball game with less than three minutes left. The defense would once again step up for the Red Devils as they forced the Generals to punt.
Central’s offense found the end zone once again in the final moment of a quarter much like it did in the third. This score would put them up for good. Peter Parrish hit Kameron Mason on a 49-yard touchdown pass to send Central to the state title game.
The Red Devils will meet Thompson in the final game of the season with a title on the line. The key will be containing Thompson quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of the University of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Marion County 34 vs Schley County 27
For most of the night Marion County found itself trailing in this game. Each time that Schley County looked poised to pull away though Marion County was up to the task.
Junior quarterback Trice McCannon hooked up with Josh Rodgers for two touchdowns in the final seven minutes to put Marion County into the lead and on to the next round of the playoffs.
McCannon was on fire in the game containing an impressive run through the playoffs. He accounted for five total touchdowns. Four of those through the air but his first was a rushing touchdown to pull his team within one in the first quarter.
Marion County will now face off with Clinch County in the semi-final game. A win would send Marion County to the finals with a chance at a state title. Clinch County knocked off Mt. Zion 35-7 to clinch its spot in the semi-final.