DeKalb County School District (DCSD) has three high school football teams in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) state playoffs, and each of those teams have playmakers who have put up big numbers throughout their time in DeKalb.
All three DCSD teams and Marist High School will be in action on Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Sweet 16 playoff games.
Columbia is the only DeKalb team on the road in the Sweet 16 of the GHSA playoffs, but the Eagles have an offense that can survive road trips behind a strong run game.
Senior running back Lamaze Williams Jr. has rushed for 400 or more yards in each of the previous three seasons, culminating with 1,247 yards on eight yards per carry in 2023. The senior running back is at 2,150 career rushing yards and 19 touchdowns heading into the Sweet 16 game at North Cobb Christian (9-2).
Williams is complemented in the Columbia backfield by senior do-it-all athlete Jaden Baugh. Baugh—who is committed to play football at the University of Arkansas— has 1,787 career rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on a whopping 13.6 yards per carry. The multi-position and multi-sport athlete also has 1,651 career receiving yards and 16 touchdown receptions.
The Eagles will put the rushing attack to the test in the Sweet 16 against a North Cobb Christian defense that has only surrendered 30 or more points once this season. Columbia has scored 30 or more in three consecutive games.
Cedar Grove and Stephenson—DCSD’s other playoff teams—are led by strong running games and junior quarterbacks.
The Saints have played for two consecutive state championships—winning one—with quarterback EJ Colson running the show. The University of Central Florida commit has already broken the 5,000-yard mark with 5,250 career passing yards and 61 scores to go along with 1,156 career rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.
Colson is joined in the backfield by another junior playmaker in running back Bo Walker. Walker is committed to University of Georgia and has totaled 2,062 yards and 27 touchdowns on the ground through his first three years at Cedar Grove — often splitting the running duties with other talented running backs.
Colson’s main target is Florida State University wide receiver commit Devin Carter — the son of NFL champion Dexter Carter. Devin Carter has 668 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns this season.
Cedar Grove has scored 24 or more points in each game during its four-game winning streak and played a Bremen (9-2) defense that has given up 24 or more points three times and has held five opponents to less than 10 points this season.
Stephenson is led by one of the county’s most accomplished running backs in senior Devan Ingram.
In just three seasons, Ingram has totaled 3,383 yards and 48 touchdowns on 8.3 yards per carry. The senior running back broke the 2,000-yard mark on the season in the opening round of the playoffs and is averaging 10.6 yards per carry in 2023. Ingram has also ran for 30 touchdowns this season alone.
Ingram and fellow three-year starter Marte Barton lead the charge for Stephenson. Barton is a junior quarterback who has thrown for 3,328 yards and 24 touchdowns. Barton has already broken the 1,000-yard mark through the air this season with 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Barton has a pair of seniors in Trent Fields Jr. (390 yards) and Tyler Bercy (269 yards) leading the receivers this season.
Stephenson’s opening round opponent—Luella (6-5)—has given up 30 or more points four times this season and has also held two teams under 10 points.
The full schedule for all playoff teams from DeKalb is below:
Luella (6-5) vs. Stephenson (9-2), 7:30 p.m.
Bremen (9-2) vs. Cedar Grove (6-5), 7:30 p.m.
HUGHES SPALDING STADIUM
Brunswick (7-3) vs. Marist (10-1), 7:30 p.m.
Columbia (8-3) at North Cobb Christian (9-2), 7:30 p.m.