Gwinnett County will win its 10th state championship in the highest classification in 18 seasons next Saturday at the Georgia Dome. What’s unusual this time is that the result is known in advance.
Gwinnett rivals Norcross and North Gwinnett won their semifinal games on Friday and will play for the Class AAAAA championship. Norcross is the defending champion. North Gwinnett has never won a state title in football.
North Gwinnett beat Norcross 36-17 on Sept. 13 in a Region 7 game. Their rematch will mark the eighth time that county rivals have played for a state title, first since Tucker beat Marist 15-3 in the 2008 Class AAAA final.
It has happened twice for Gwinnett teams, both in 2002, when Parkview beat Brookwood 28-7 in AAAAA and Buford beat Greater Atlanta Christian 34-10 in AA.
What else we learned in the semifinals:
- North Gwinnett can run the football. The Bulldogs were the most pass-oriented team in the AAAAAA semifinals, getting 64 percent of their yardage through the air. But C.J. Leggett rushed for 292 yards (unofficially) on 36 carries in a 27-21 victory over McEachern.
- Norcross can play defense. The Blue Devils have won 11 straight games, with six victories over playoff teams. None of the playoff teams has broken 10 points. Colquitt County, which had averaged 45 points in its previous three playoff games, was held to 11 first downs and 183 yards in total offense. Norcross won 14-9.
Gwinnett County champs in the highest class –
2006 Peachtree Ridge
2013 Norcross/North Gwinnett