No. 2 Pepperell 27, No. 3 Heard County 7

There will be a new Class AA state champion this December.

One season removed from putting together a remarkable run that resulted in the first state title in the program history, the Braves were eliminated from the Class AA state playoffs just one game in on Friday night.

“Obviously the year didn’t end the way we wanted it to, so obviously we’re disappointed in that. But I’m really proud of the guys for the season as a whole,” Heard County head coach Tim Barron said. “When the guys went 0-4 they could’ve hung it up and surrendered on the year, but they decide to battle back and play a lot better football the back half of the season. We got better as the year went on. We just didn’t end on a high note [Friday.]”

The Braves’ lone score came on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Leroy Marsh to Ayden Cannon in the second quarter.

After going into the half trailing 14-7, Heard County was unable to produce enough offense in the second half to hang around in the game.

No. 1 Rockmart 24, No. 4 Temple 7

A night of close calls and missed opportunities resulted in a first-round exit for the Tigers of Temple High School on Friday night.

Taking on the reigning Class AA state runner-up on the road, Temple went toe-to-toe with the top-seeded Yellow Jackets and held its own for most of the night. In the end, however, a series of trips inside the red zone with no points to show for it cost the Tigers tremendously.

“We had the ball inside the 1 twice, but we just couldn’t get it in,” Temple head coach Scotty Ward said. “It’s tough when you’ve got a chance to win a big football game like that and it just doesn’t happen. But our kids played really, really hard tonight and I’m proud of them.”

Despite the bitter end to the year, Ward will remember this season fondly.

“Last year was not what we wanted, but this makes it three out of four winning seasons for us and two out of the last three playoff appearances. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come,” he said. “We did some good things during the year and I thought we played hard against just about everybody we played this year. It was a good year for Temple football. Hopefully its a springboard for these juniors to carry on and have a great year next year.”

No. 2 Hart County 56, No. 3 Haralson County 27

The Rebels’ 2019 season came to an end on the road Friday night at the hands of the Bulldogs in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs.

Haralson County will now bid farewell to a group of seniors who helped lead the team to the state playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time in program history.