Athens Christian at Pinecrest Academy
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Pinecrest Academy Stadium in Cumming.
Records, rankings, seedings: Athens Christian is 6-4, unranked in Class A and the No. 15 seed in the Class A private school playoffs; Pinecrest is 9-1, ranked No. 6 and the No. 2 seed.
Series history: Tied 1-1.
Last meeting: Pinecrest won 28-26 in 2013.
What to know: Pinecrest Academy enters the Class A private school playoffs with incredible momentum after the Paladins defeated defending state champion and previously No. 1-ranked Mount Paran in the season finale to win the Region 6-A championship. That win propelled Pinecrest into the Georgia Sports Writers Association state rankings for the first time this season – well, for the first time ever since joining the Georgia High School Association.
It also set up the Paladins with a favorable path toward the state championship game. By getting the No. 2 overall seed in the Class A Power Ratings, Pinecrest can avoid top 5-ranked teams Eagle’s Landing Christian, Prince Avenue Christian and Mount Paran until the state championship game.
But getting there starts with Athens Christian, who has plenty of momentum of its own. The Eagles started the season 1-4 but are undefeated since, winning five straight to finish the regular season and qualify for the state playoffs for the fourth straight season. Watch out for Athens Christian sophomore Richard Jibunor. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder plays wide receiver and safety and is a dangerous playmaker at both spots.
What’s next: The winner will play the Calvary Day-Stratford Academy winner.