GHSA playoffs ‘23: Camden County, Pierce County cruise into state quarterfinals

The Georgia High School Association canceled the remainder of the 2019-20 athletic season on Thursday due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Camden County and Pierce County are moving on in the Georgia High School Association state playoffs.

The Wildcats went on the road and walloped McEachern 26-0 in the second round of the Class 7A state playoffs on Friday night. It’s Camden’s first trip to the state quarterfinals since 2012. That was coach Jeff Herron’s final season of his first stint in Kingsland. Herron left the program in 2013 for Prince Avenue Christian and then stops at T.L. Hanna High School and Tennessee Tech. He returned to Camden County in 2021.

Defense led the way for the Wildcats, with Ja’Marley Riddle picking off a pair of passes and scoring a rushing touchdown. Jaden Dailey added two more scores on the ground for the Wildcats (9-3), who will head to Mill Creek (12-0) next.

For Pierce County, Caden McGatha’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Carson Sloan in the second quarter put the Bears in front 14-8 and they never looked back in a 35-14 win over Laney in the Class 2A playoffs. Pierce (11-1) will stay at home next week against another top seed, Fellowship Christian (10-2).

In Class 5A, Ware County’s defense of its state championship hit a bitter end as Alberto Medina hit a 42-yard field goal as time expired as Warner Robins stunned the Gators 23-21. Ware (8-4) beat Warner Robins 38-13 in the state championship game a year ago.

In Class 6A, Brunswick went down 24-0 at half and never slowed down Marist in a 41-14 loss. The Pirates’ season ended at 7-4.

GHSA playoffs

Second round, Friday

Class 7A

  • (3) Camden County 26, (1) McEachern 0

Class 6A

  • (1) Marist 41, (3) Brunswick 14

Class 5A

  • (1) Warner Robins 23, (2) Ware County 21

Class 2A

  • (1) Pierce County 35, (2) Laney 14

State quarterfinals

Class 7A

  • (3) Camden County (9-3) at (1) Mill Creek (12-0)

Class 2A

  • (1) Fellowship Christian (10-2) at (1) Pierce County (11-1)

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.