St. Pius will host the North Hall Trojans Friday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at George B. Maloof Stadium in the semifinals of the Georgia High School Association AAA football playoffs. With both schools as the top seed from their respective regions, the Golden Lions won the coin toss for home field advantage. This is the third time in four years that St. Pius has won a coin toss for home field in the state playoffs when the Golden Lions hosted Peach County and Cairo, respectively, in the quarterfinal round.
St. Pius (11-2) defeated Washington County on Friday night 40-35. Jack Spear passed for two touchdowns – one each to Branden Mitchell and Nick Ruffin – and Ryan Braswell rushed for three scores. Mitchell also ran for 164 yards. Thomas O’Leary added two field goals of 43 and 45-yards. The Golden Lions forced three turnovers and held Washington County on downs inside the red zone in the fourth quarter holding a precarious 34-28 lead.
The Golden Lions have now advanced to the semifinals for the fifth time and first since 2006 when they lost to eventual champion, Northside, Warner Robins. The previous two trips to the semifinals were in 1965 (state runners-up), 1967 and 1968, when St. Pius won its only state championship.
North Hall knocked off Peach County 52-10 to advance to the semifinals and win its tenth straight home playoff game.
The Trojans (11-2) and Golden Lions last met in the playoffs in 2009 with St. Pius taking a 17-3 second round victory. The two schools also played in the regular season in 2010 and 2011 with the Golden Lions winning each game.