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Newton County area football teams qualify for state playoffs
NHS/EHS Football
Eastside's offensive linemen and Newton's defensive linemen all looking for the call from the sideline during the schools' 2022 rivalry matchup. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

COVINGTON, Ga. — Eastside, Newton and Social Circle football teams finished their regular seasons in the top four of their respective regions to qualify for the 2022 state playoffs. 

The Eagles placed No. 4 in Region 8-AAAAA, the Rams finished No. 3 in Region 4-AAAAAAA while the Redskins will host as the No. 2 seed from Region 5A-Division I. 

Due to a referee shortage, the first round will look different. Here's all the information on the local teams' schedules this week. 

EHS Playoffs
Anquez Cobb (21) rushes the ball against Winder-Barrow to help secure Eastside's spot in the Class AAAAA playoffs. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

Eastside travel to Calhoun for round one

The Eagles’ (6-4, 3-3) first round matchup will be against No. 1 seed Calhoun (7-3, 4-1 Region 7-AAAAA) on the road Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. 

This is Eastside’s seventh consecutive season in which it has qualified for the playoffs. According to head coach Jay Cawthon, Saturday’s contest will be a tough one. 

“[Calhoun] is a great football team with a lot of tradition,” Cawthon said. “It’s going to be a four quarter, physical football game. We just have to be mistake free and handle the bad with the good. It’s going to be a four quarter war. And, we pride ourselves on being physical. So, we’ll take up there and see what happens.” 

On Oct. 28 at Sharp Stadium, the Eagles officially stamped their ticket to the postseason with a 30-14 win over Winder-Barrow. Eastside also downed region opponents Flowery Branch and Heritage to claim the four seed. All three region losses were against higher seeds and two of them were by a combined four points

The Eagles were led by their defense which only surrendered 14-plus points on two occasions in 2022. D’Von Duplessis, Jean Claude Joseph III and Jacorey Jackson were among the top of the list of defensive performers throughout this season. 

Their three-headed rushing attack of Kenai Grier, DJ Henderson and Jayden Barr as well as quarterback E’Sean Arnold assisted in a big way to Eastside’s postseason berth. Saabir Berrien helped lead the wide receiver corp, too. 

Yellow Jacket Stadium is located at 355 S River St., Calhoun, Georgia 30701

NHS Playoffs
Justin Benton (99) pounds the ball into the end zone for a score on Friday night against Archer. The win helped Newton to the No. 3 seed. - photo by Garrett Pitts

Newton hit the road for its first round matchup against Marietta

The Rams will open the first round of the Class AAAAAAA playoffs on the road as they will take on No. 2 seed Marietta (4-6, 3-1 Region 3-AAAAAAA) Saturday, Nov. 12 at 3:30 p.m. 

Two region wins over South Gwinnett and Archer to finish the season, the Rams (6-4, 3-2) finished in third place in Region 4-AAAAAAA and secured a spot in the playoffs after overcoming a four-game losing streak earlier in the season.

“It is always good to extend the season. We are happy for the coaches, players, and the fans,” head coach Camiel Grant Jr. said. “A lot of teams will be packing it up on Monday and we will not be one of those teams.” 

The Rams return to the postseason is due in part to their defense, who have put together strong performances late in the season to pick up an offense that has had many questions revolving around the quarterback position.

Toward the middle of the season, the Rams tabbed freshman Deron Benson as QB1 and went 3-1 while he was under center. 

Despite the offensive question marks, Newton has leaned on the run game as sophomore Zion Johnson is putting together a strong season in the Newton backfield.

Johnson rushed for 313 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams 24-14 win over South Gwinnett on Oct. 28 that originally secured them a spot in the playoffs.

Marietta’s home stadium is not on its school campus. However, Northcutt Stadium is located at 121 Winn St NW, Marietta, Ga 30064

SCHS Playoffs
Social Circle players celebrate a score against Prince Avenue on Friday at home. Despite the loss, the Redskins enter the state playoffs as the No. 2 seed. - photo by Cassie Jones | The Covington News

Social Circle hosts Whitefield Academy on Friday 

For the third straight year, the Redskins (7-3, 2-1) are heading to the playoffs and will face No. 2 seed Whitefield Academy (6-4, 1-2 Region 6A-Division I). 

The game will be played at Redskins Stadium on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. 

This marks the first time since 2007-2009 that Social Circle has advanced to the postseason in three consecutive. It's also the first time since 2005 where the Redskins will host a playoff game. 

With a Social Circle win Friday night, it'll be the first time since 2005 that it advanced past the first round, too.  

Logan Cross has been the offensive leader this season along with Mason Moore, Demascio Bolden and the do-it-all Phillip Baynes Jr. 

Bryan Ross, Grayson Jenkins and Mehki Butts have led the defensive unit all season, too, for the Redskins.

The Covington News will have complete, live coverage of all three playoff games at Follow on @CovNewsSports on Facebook and Twitter for live updates.