Whatever the formula is for winning football games this time of year, the St. Pius Golden Lions seemed to have discovered it.
After winning at Cartersville last week, St. Pius is in the state quarterfinals for the third consecutive season, and it has an 8-2 playoff record over that stretch.
Last season, St. Pius made it all the way to the Class AAA state-championship game before losing to Buford 10-3.
This year, St. Pius has won a couple of hard-fought road games to reach the state’s final eight once again.
On Friday, St. Pius will try to keep its playoff run going when it pays a visit to Callaway Stadium to take on the Callaway Cavaliers.
The winner will player either Carver-Columbus or Buford in the semifinals the following week.
On the other side of the bracket, it’ll be Washington County vs. Blessed Trinity, and Central-Carroll vs. Ringgold.
St. Pius (9-3) enjoyed a successful but unspectacular regular season to earn the number three seed from Region 6-AAA.
Once the playoffs began, though, the Lions have been on fire.
They opened with a 31-21 road win over Hart County, setting up a second-round showdown with an unbeaten Cartersville team that was ranked in the top five.
The Lions used their strong running attack to control the game, with fullback Dalton Wilson running for 100 yards on 17 carries with a pair of touchdowns.
Callaway, meanwhile, has been one of the state’s most explosive teams through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
After putting up more than 60 points in a 62-28 win over Henry County in the first round, Callaway kept it going with a 49-21 win over Pierce County in the second round.
That’s 111 points in two playoff games for the Cavaliers, and they have scored at least 47 points in each of their past four games.
After the Pierce County win, Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said the celebration would be short-lived.
“We’ve got a big game next week,” Wiggins said on the field after Friday’s game. “We’ll enjoy it tonight, and then we’re going back to work.”