Baldwin, GMC Prep trekking south for state playoffs tonight
Helmets courtesy of gahelmetproject.com
Head Coach Jesse Hicks' Baldwin squad will load up the busses this morning and head deep into south Georgia, their destination Bainbridge, for a GHSA Class AAAA opening round matchup.
Bainbridge, the alma mater of Kirby Smart, secured the GHSA Region 1-AAAA region title last Friday night with a 53-20 cakewalk over Cairo.
The two squads have one common opponent – Ware County. Bainbridge fell to Ware County 22-16 in Waycross, while Ware County defeated Baldwin 41-3 in week 2 of the season here in Milledgeville.
Each team played a rough and rugged non-region schedule. The Bearcats non-region slate included a 30-14 loss to Cedar Grove (No. 1 in AAA), a 24-21 victory over Coffee County (No. 4 in AAAAA), a 26-18 loss to Brooks County (No. 6 in A) and the aforementioned 22-16 loss to Ware County, currently ranked No. 2 in AAAAA.
The Bearcats then breezed through their region schedule, winning all four of those games by an average of 31 points per contest. In other words, Bainbridge will enter tonight's game against Baldwin as a prohibitive favorite.
Baldwin, however, will look to duplicate what happened in round 1 of the 2019 playoffs, when the Braves travelled deep into South Georgia and came away with a 38-30 win over Cairo.
The Braves played perhaps their best game of the season last Friday night vs. Griffin, as junior tailback Micah Welch rushed for nearly 300 yards and four touchdowns in the 47-16 victory.
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Meanwhile, GMC Prep also is hitting the road today, heading to Schley County, located roughly 100 miles due southwest of Milledgeville. The Wildcats, the No. 1 seed from GHSA Region 6-A Division II, enter the game riding awfully high, ranked No. 5 in the state and winners of seven straight games.
Despite only have 5,000 people in the entire county, Schley is home to a pair of big-time college prospects – junior running back/linebacker Zayden Walker and sophomore wide receiver Jalewis Solomon.
Walker currently is rated as the 11th-best junior prospect in the entire nation, according to the composite rankings, while Solomon already has offers from Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn, among others.
GMC's calling card is defense, however, and the Dawgs' D isn't the type to back down from a challenge.