This time around, it is the Class AAAA playoffs and the two teams are in very different places.
The 2010 edition of the Trojans were on their way to a trip to the state finals, while Stephens County was full of sophomores in key places. Carrollton won that game, 63-20, setting a playoff scoring record for Carrollton.
Carrollton rushed for 486 yards in that contest and threw for another 125 yards in a game that was 35-14 at the half before the Trojans put the game away. Trojan coach Rayvan Teague expects this year's game to be more competitive.
"I think it's just age and experience. They are a senior-dominated team. Eight or nine of these guys that are starting this year started in that game against us. Now we don't have anybody starting who started that game. They are very experienced with a lot of seniors," Teague said.
Now Carrollton (7-3) is the young team with juniors and sophomores in key positions, while the Indians (8-2) are the veteran bunch.
The Stephens County offense is a three-headed monster, led by senior quarterback Dionte Mayfield. Through eight games, Mayfield had thrown for 1,222 yards and 12 touchdowns to just five interceptions. Most of those scores — 11 of the 12 — went to senior receiver T'omas Colbert.
"I think that he has a really strong arm. He can throw it as far as somebody can run and get it and he has someone to run and get it as far as he can throw it. That's a pretty good combination," Teague said.
Joining Mayfield and Colbert is senior back Chaz Thornton, who has eclipsed the 1,400-yard, 20-touchdown mark already this year.
"The tailback was a sophomore that year ... So we know he's gotten bigger and stronger. The receiver scored two touchdowns on us in that game as a sophomore. He's now a senior with over 1,100 yards receiving this year. Their experience factor and age is a big difference," Teague said.
It's not all about offense for the Indians, though. While Stephens County did score 36 points per game this year, the defense allowed just over two touchdowns per game and just seven points per game during its four-game winning streak.
"They have two really big, strong defensive ends. [B.J. Brown] and [Gary Walker], both of them are big, strong kids. I think their linebacking corps is a strength, especially the SAM and the WILL. They're both seniors and physical. They've got two safeties that are very active and definitely come downhill on the run and do a good job of tackling," Teague said.
Along with the 2010 first-round meeting, the Trojans won a 24-13 second-round contest in 2006 while the Indians won 7-6 in a 1992 first-round game — the only one hosted by Stephens County.
The Indians come into Friday night's contest riding a four-game win streak that helped them earn the No. 3 seed out of Region 8-AAAA. The only two losses for Stephens County this year came in back-to-back weeks against region champions Monroe Area and second-seeded Chestatee.
Carrollton has won six of its last seven, including last Thursday's 41-14 win at LaGrange to clinch the No. 2 seed. But the regular season is over and both teams are preparing for the second season.
"It's Day 1 here in the playoffs. Everybody is 0-0, and you just have to go out there and play your best that night. It doesn't really matter about previous records. It matters who goes out and executes and performs the best. They're going to come in with some momentum and we captured some momentum last week beating LaGrange. I think that we're pretty battle-tested. We understand the challenge, our kids will be well prepared and play as hard as they can," Teague said.