The Chargers, who were also voted No. 1 in the private power rankings, will start their journey towards a repeat against Athens Christian (5-5). This will be the first meeting between the teams since the 2007 season. ELCA (9-0) won all four matchups by double digits and outscored the Eagles 144-34.
Less than two weeks ago, the Chargers continued their streak of convincing wins with a 35-0 rout against Landmark Christian at Bill Thorn Stadium. Senior quarterback Dalton Etheridge rushed for 203 yards and three touchdowns, and passed for 131 yards and a score.
Bryson Durden had an interception and fumble recovery for ELCA, which earned its third shutout of the season.
Meanwhile, Athens Christian ended its regular season on the same night with a 21-3 victory over Athens Academy.
In the first round of the higher classifications last week, only Stockbridge was left standing of the five entrants (Henry County, Locust Grove, Eagle’s Landing and Luella) from Henry County.
“We’re very fortunate to be last Henry County school playing,” Stockbridge coach Kevin Whitley said. “We don’t get anything for that so that wasn’t one of our goals going into the season but anytime we can represent Henry County in a positive way that is what we want to do.”
The Tigers (10-1) advanced with a 41-20 home victory against Westside-Macon. Maetron Thomas and Javon Brandon both rushed for a pair of touchdowns. Brandon also threw two TD passes and Malik Bryan ran for a touchdown to go along with a TD reception.
“Anytime you make it to the playoffs you are excited to be there,” Whitley said. “It’s not something you take for granted. I think our kids were ready to play.”
Next, Stockbridge travels to Albany to face Monroe (9-2), which is riding an eight-game winning streak.
“They won their region which says a lot about them,” Whitley said. “We’re expecting a real, hard-fought game. We just got to go down there and try to execute and play our best.”