MOULTRIE — North Cobb, an 11-point underdog, knocked off Hillgrove 35-24 on the road on Friday to claim third place in Region 3-7A and earn a trip to play Colquitt County this week in the first round of the Class 7A state playoffs.
Hillgrove, 7-3 overall and 2-3 in Region 3,will be the fourth seed from Region 3 and will travel to play undefeated and No. 1-ranked Lowndes.
Three years ago, the two teams set state records in a 92-61 Vikings victory.
Camden County claimed the third seed in Region 1 when it defeated Tift County 30-20 at Brodie Field.
The Wildcats are 8-2 overall and 1-2 in the region.
Tift County will not make the Class 7A playoffs after finishing 0-3 in Region 1 and 3-7 overall.
Region 1 runner-up Colquitt County was off on Friday after posting an 8-2 record in the regular season and going 2-1 in Region 1.
With starting quarterback Trevor Lovett nursing an injury suffered in the previous week’s loss to McEachern, North Cobb turned to backup Malachi Singleton.
All Singleton did was carry the football 25 times for 130 yard and four touchdowns. He also completed six passes for 61 yards.
North Cobb, 7-3 overall and 3-2 in Region 3, scored on its opening drive on a 41-yard touchdown run by Singleton.
Hillgrove then drove to the Warriors 8-yard line, but Hawks quarterback Matthew McCravy was intercepted in the end zone by Nasir Howell, who returned the ball to midfield.
A field goal pulled Hillgrove to within four at the half.
McCravey threw two touchdowns to Trevarus Walker in the third quarter, but North Cobb responded to each.
Cam Cunningham returned the kickoff after Walker’s first touchdown 99 yards for a score.
Singleton scored on a 4-yard run after the second.
Singleton’s final touchdown, which came on a 9-yard run, came with just over 3 minutes remaining and closed out the scoring.
Walker finished with 10 receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns for Hillgrove.
Shane Queen is in his 14th season as North Cobb’s head coach. He has led the program to a 96-59 record, winning region titles in 2007 and 2013.
Queen also coached six season’s at South Cobb and has an overall record of 132-87.
Colquitt County and North Cobb have met just one time, squaring off in the second round of the 2013 playoffs in Kennesaw.
The Packers won 52-6.
Colquitt County has reached the playoffs 11 straight seasons, failing to reach the semifinals just once.