North Cobb's stunning upset at the hands of Peachtree Ridge in last week's playoff opener means one thing: it's up to the winner of Friday's Harrison-Walton showdown to keep Cobb County in the race for a 2007 state championship.
Whitefield Academy also has that dubious chore as as they face Athens Academy in the second round.
The matchup between Harrison and Walton is the first meeting of the two this season. They do, however, have playoff knowledge of one another as the two met in the 2005 state playoffs.
The Raiders (10-1 overall, 5-0 regional play) won that game in two overtimes by a score of 27-26. Walton also picked up a 21-7 victory over the Hoyas (9-2, 6-2) in 2003. Harrison won in back-to-back seasons in 2002 and 2001.
Walton packs a defensive punch thanks to four-star middle linebacker prospect Chase Thomas (pictured above). The talented quarterback of the defense has helped the Raiders allow just 15.9 points per game.
Thomas boasts scholarship offers from some of the SEC's elite teams such as Florida, Auburn and Tennessee as well as ACC squads Georgia Tech and North Carolina. Thomas is highest on the Tigers and Stanford University.
Offensively, Walton is averaging 32.1 points per game.
Offensive lineman Austin Quattrochi is committed to Southern Miss.
Harrison's defense is also pretty stout itself as the Hoyas allow just 10 points per game. On offense they put up just under 35.
In 2007, Harrison's only two losses occurred against North Cobb early in the season and Campbell late in the year. They defeated Mill Creek to start the playoffs last week 30-10.
Walton defeated Parkview to move on in the playoffs.
As for Whitefield Academy, getting past Athens Academy won't be easy.
The Wolfpack (7-4, 4-1) must face a Spartans squad that was hot all season and lost on only one game. Whitefield Academy defeated Twiggs County in the opening round 28-18.
Stay tuned to GAVSV.com for a recap of all these games and to see who will move on and keep Cobb County in the race for glory.
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