The big game in Monroe on Friday is the quarterfinal between the Monroe Area Purple Hurricanes and South Effingham. The winner of this game moves onto the semifinals and will face the winner of the Burke County/Sandy Creek game.
Georgia High School Football Daily, a free email newsletter produced and owned by Todd Holcomb and Chip Saye, veteran sports writers, have put together the following preview of this matchup.
South Effingham at Monroe Area
Friday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Purple Pit, Monroe
Records, rankings: South Effingham is 8-4, the No. 4 seed from Region 3-AAAA and unranked; Monroe is 11-1, the No. 1 seed from 8-AAAA and unranked.
Three things to know about the matchup according to GHSF Daily:
1. Monroe Area has two 1,000-yard rushers in junior RB Kwan Brooks (1,769 yards, 18 touchdowns) and QB Stanton Truitt (1,245, 16 TDs). Both average more than 11 yards per carry. Truitt, who has missed four games with injuries, has thrown for 810 yards.
2. South Effingham RB Josh Mercer, who has committed to N.C. State, is perhaps the most overshadowed major college prospect still playing. He has rushed for 1,476 yards and scored 29 touchdowns. He has run for 111 and 130 yards and scored five touchdowns in two playoff games. RB Cordaro Leverett has five 100-yard rushing games and 991 yards on the season.
3. The winner of this game will be playing in its first state semifinal. Monroe Area, which has played football since the 1920s, lost quarterfinal games in 1969 and 2010. South Effingham, which opened in 1996, had never won a playoff game until this season. South Effingham and Colquitt County (AAAAAA) are the only No. 4 seeds still playing. Only 12 fourth seeds have made the semifinals since 1996, when the state playoffs were expanded to 32 teams.
Maxwell projects for the game: Monroe Area by 8.