Now, with 16 teams remaining in each classification, it’s time to pare the playoff fields down even further, and Callaway and LaGrange each face difficult challenges as they look to keep their championship hopes alive.
Callaway (10-1) will be at home against traditional state power Washington County (9-3), while LaGrange (6-5) will be on the road against a strong Ridgeland (10-1) team.
Both games will be played at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.
If Callaway and LaGrange both win, they’ll advance to the quarterfinals in their respective classification.
LaGrange is coming off a wild 59-46 victory over Chestatee Friday in a first-round game.
The Grangers did it on offense, and they did it on defense as well with three touchdowns.
Now, LaGrange turns its attention to a Ridgeland team that hasn’t lost since falling to Calhoun 42-35 in the first game of the season.
In its state opener, Ridgeland thumped Booker T. Washington 45-21 behind a five-touchdown performance by running back Darrell Bridges.
Ridgeland, the champion of Region 7-AAAA, has won 10 straight games.
The road has been a bit bumpier for LaGrange this season, which went 5-5 in the regular season but still managed to finish third in Region 5-AAAA to make the state playoffs.
LaGrange then found the end zone eight times in the win over Chestatee.
For Callaway, meanwhile, it’s been mostly smooth sailing since a loss to Heard County in the season opener.
The Cavaliers closed the regular season with nine straight wins to win the Region 4-AAA championship, and they kept it going in the first round of the playoffs with a convincing 49-7 win over Tatnall County.
Now, the Cavaliers have turned their attention to a Washington County team that has had a stellar season.
The Golden Hawks have only lost once all season, and that was a 28-14 setback to Thomson, the state’s top-ranked team.
Washington County finished second in Region 3-AAA to Thomson.
This will be Washington County’s first trip to Callaway Stadium since it lost to LaGrange in the 2004 state-championship game.