Grayson Rams (4-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Adam Carter
Last week: Beat Denmark 35-21
Roswell Hornets (5-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Chris Prewett
Last week: Beat North Cobb 46-43
Roswell’s football team pulled off the shocker of the Class AAAAAAA second round, winning 46-43 over North Cobb on the final play of the game, a quarterback keeper by Robbie Roper. The Hornets trailed 43-34 with less than two minutes left when a North Cobb fumble gave them new life. A touchdown and an onside kick then set up Roper’s game-winner.
After knocking off one of the state title favorites, Roswell now turns its attention to the defending state champion in the quarterfinals.
Grayson is led by its defense, which is tasked with slowing a high-powered Roswell offense. Roper (2,725 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and 408 rushing yards, five TDs) and company have racked up 62, 52 and 46 points over the past three games. Five Hornet receivers have more than 20 catches and more than five TDs, led by Ethan Nation (45-565-10) and Shaun Spence (47-787-7). Nathan, a junior, has an offer list that includes Alabama.
Grayson’s defense was led last week by Easton Burgess (10 tackles, two for losses, two QB pressures, one forced fumble), Gavin Graham (six tackles, three QB pressures, one fumble recovery, one defensive TD), Jalen Smith (17 tackles, 2 1/2 for losses, 2 1/2 sacks, one forced fumble), Darren McKenzie (five tackles, one sack, one QB pressure, one forced fumble) and Jayson Allen (three tackles, one interception, one pass breakup).
The Rams also have improved on offense in the playoffs while beating East Coweta 48-14 and Denmark 35-21. Quarterback Rayne Fry completed 19 of 28 passes for 182 yards and two TDs against Denmark, while Mason Humphrey (six catches for 71 yards) and Kai Banks (three catches for 55 yards, TD) stood out at receiver. O’Neal Madom Madom (82 percent grade, one knockdown block), Waltclaire Flynn (77 percent grade, seven knockdown blocks) and Griffin Scroggs (84 percent grade, four knockdown blocks) played well on the line.
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Grayson won 23-20 in overtime in the 2016 state finals
Location: Roswell High School