Douglas County, Lithia Springs advance in state football playoffs

Douglas County High defensive backs coach Lou George congratulates sophomore cornerback Richard Freeman after his interception in Saturday’s state playoff game.

Douglas County and Lithia Springs, the county’s two oldest high schools, both survived the first round of the GHSA playoffs over the weekend.

The two schools picked up road wins to advance to the second round of the playoffs.

Douglas County upset No. 8 Riverwood, 24-17, for its first state playoff win on the road since 1988.

Lithia Springs won its first state playoff game in the program’s 45-year history with a 30-27 overtime win at Apalachee.

New Manchester, the No. 2 seed from Region 6-5A, lost 41-35 to Eastside in the first round.

“We have said it all season that each week we can make history,” Lithia Springs coach Corey Jarvis said.

Junior quarterback Jai’Que Hart connected with wide receiver Taye Seymour for a 15-yard touchdown in overtime for the game-winner.

Apalachee got the ball first in the overtime period, and Lithia’s defense held them to a field goal. The Lions scored on the first play of their possession of overtime for the win.

“It was a tough environment to compete in,” Jarvis said. “Our kids fought throughout the contest.”

Lithia Springs was down 10 points before they finally got on the scoreboard and trailed 24-8 at intermission.

After regrouping, the Lions held Apalachee to a field goal in the second half while rolling off 22 points.

“Our defense just kept stopping them,” Jarvis said.

Lithia Springs will travel to Whitewater for a second round matchup. Whitewater defeated Ola 19-16 in its first round contest.

Hart completed 65% of his passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns. Davion Leslie, Devon Green and Seymore all had touchdown receptions.

Seymore also finished with 14 tackles while Javon Jennings led the Lions with 22 tackles.

A fourth seed out of Region 5-6A, Douglas County was one of 11 teams to bounce a ranked team out of the playoffs.

Tigers sophomore quarterback Sire Hardaway threw for 175 yards and a touchdown while senior running back Jirah Douglas had 136 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

Douglas County will travel to Northside-Warner Robins for a second round contest.