DeKalb football teams to play Sweet 16 playoff games

The No. 1 ranked Cedar Grove Saints get a home game on Nov. 18 in the Class 3A Sweet 16 football playoffs, while two other DeKalb County teams will also host playoff games and three teams will be on the road.

Cedar Grove (8-2) plays host to region 8 No. 2 seed Hebron Christian (9-2) at Godfrey Stadium with kickoff set for 7:30 pm.

Marist and Decatur will also host Nov. 18 games at 7:30 p.m. Decatur (7-4) hosts Coffee (9-2) at Decatur High School, while Marist (9-2) plays an on-campus game against Northside (7-4).

DeKalb’s road games all pit local teams against undefeated foes.

Stephenson (7-3) heads to Cedartown (11-0) for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff; St. Pius X Catholic (6-5) plays at Thomas Central County (11-0) at 7:30 p.m.; and Chamblee (8-2) looks to win consecutive playoff games for the first time since 2007 with a game at Ware County (10-0) at 7:30 p.m.

In round one action, Cedar Grove’s defense held Bremen to fewer than 100 yards of total offense. The Saints’ defense was led by Chase Kerns. He picked up seven tackles, three sacks, and four tackles for a loss in the game that upped his total sacks to 10 and tackles for a loss to 14. Quinterio Lawson had two sacks, caused a fumble, and had a scoop and score. The Saints, playing mostly schools from larger classifications, have held opponents to 18.7 points.

Hebron Christian comes in having rushed for more than 3,400 yards as a team led by dual threat quarterback Gavin Hall. Hall has rushed for 2,333 yards and 30 touchdowns and thrown for 1,680 yards and 17 more touchdowns. The Lions are averaging 40.5 points per game and almost six touchdowns per game.

Cedar Grove’s Boden Walker and Demarcus Smith have both rushed for more than 400 yards on the season as a tandem. Sophomore quarterback EJ Colson has rushed for 342 yards and eight touchdowns while passing for 2,104 yards and 23 touchdowns. The offense is averaging 34.9 points per game.

Class 4A: Stephenson (7-3) at Cedartown (11-0)

The Stephenson Jaguars hit the road in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs with a date against the class 4A No. 1 ranked Cedartown Bulldogs on Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Stephenson is playing to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2016 after picking up its first opening round win since 2019 with a 40-38 thriller against Pace Academy.

Junior running back Devin Ingram put the Jaguars on his back, scoring four touchdowns and rushing for 203 yards while adding 160 yards in kickoff returns. His second kickoff return for a touchdown came with less than six minutes to play with the Jaguars trailing 38-26, and he followed on his next touch going 58 yards for the winning score.

Ingram was named the Georgia High School Football Daily State Player of the Week for his performance. He has rushed for 1,264 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season. Quarterback Marte Barton has passed for 1,081 yards and six touchdowns.

The Jaguar defense is led by junior linebacker Kaleb Bristow with 114 tackles including 3.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks on the season. He is joined by senior linebacker Delali Flowers, who has 88 tackles on the season.

Cedartown rolled past Cedar Shoals 49-0 in its first-round playoff game. The Cedartown Bulldogs are led by a running back tandem including Harlem Diamond (851 yards, 14 touchdowns) and Patrick Gardener (679 yards and 13 touchdowns). Quarterback Reece Tanner (838 yards passing, 13 touchdowns; 320 yards rushing, three touchdowns) runs the offense.

Class 5A: Chamblee (8-2) at Ware Co. (10-0)

The No. 1 ranked Ware County Gators stand in the way of a trip to the quarterfinals for the Chamblee Bulldogs, who kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 18.

Chamblee, whose seniors were 1-8 as freshman, played and won their first home playoff game since 2007 with a 62-13 win over McIntosh on Nov. 12.

Chamblee’s senior quarterback Fabian Walker (2,112 yards passing, 24 touchdowns; 438 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns) led the Bulldogs’ attack throwing for 292 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for two more against McIntosh.

Tristian Sizemore (six receptions, 136 yards vs. McIntosh) and Levi Bradham (five receptions, 75 yards, one touchdown) are two of the key targets for Walker in the passing game.

Junior defensive end Quay Wright has five sacks and 28 tackles for a loss on the season. He had three tackles for a loss and a half sack against McIntosh. Senior linebacker Mason Carrington (97 tackles, four sacks, eight tackles for loss) and senior linebacker Miller Meeks (50 tackles, eight sacks, 13 tackles for loss) lead front of the Bulldog defense.

Ware County won 55-13 over Jones County on Nov. 11. The Gators offense is run by quarterback Nikao Smith (1,917 yards passing, 21 touchdowns). Smith’s big target in the passing game is Jarvis Hayes (773 yards, 12 touchdowns). The run game leader is Deajeaun Dennis (922 yards, 12 touchdowns).

DeKalb teams playing in the Sweet 16 on Nov. 18 are:

Godfrey Stadium

Hebron Christian (9-2) vs. Cedar Grove (8-2), 7:30 p.m. 

On campus games

Coffee (9-2) vs. Decatur (7-4), 7:30 p.m.
Northside (7-4) vs. Marist (9-2) 7:30 p.m.

Away games

Stephenson (7-3) at Cedartown (11-0), 7:30 p.m. 
Chamblee (8-2) at Ware County (10-0), 7:30 p.m. 
St. Pius X Catholic (6-5) at Thomas County Central (11-0), 7 p.m.


The Champion Editor Jay Phillips contributed to this article.

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