Tucker, Creekside earn shots at championship, perfection

Top-ranked Tucker will be playing for its third state championship in six seasons after knocking off defending champion Gainesville 20-14 in the Class AAAAA semifinals Friday at Hallford Stadium. The Tigers’ opponent will be No. 4 Creekside, which reached the title game for the first time in school history with a 55-10 blowout of No. 2 Kell.

Tucker, which trailed 14-0 early in the second quarter, got the game-winning score on a 6-yard run by Dominick Sanders with 2:22 remaining, capping an 11-play, 53-yard drive. Sanders also had a 33-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter and finished with 127 yards of total offense. Tucker won state titles in 2008 and 2011 and is 23-4 in the playoffs since last missing the postseason in 2006.

Creekside’s 45-point victory was the most-lopsided semifinal since 2006, when Dublin beat Lovett 65-7 in a Class AA game. The Seminoles are trying to become the first Fulton County team to win a state championship since Chattahoochee in 2010 and the first from south Fulton since Palmetto in 1983. Creekside opened in 1990 as a merger of Palmetto and Campbell-Fairburn.

Both teams are 14-0. Their championship will be decided at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Georgia Dome.

Here are some of the other story lines from the Class AAAAA semifinals:

- No repeat for Gainesville: Gainesville was one of two defending champions to lose in the semifinals, along with Eagle’s Landing Christian in the Class A private-school division. The Red Elephants were trying to become the first team to win back-to-back championships in the state’s second-largest classification since Northside-Warner Robins did it in 2006 and 2007.

- End of a stellar career: Gainesville’s loss was the final game in the high school career of quarterback Deshaun Watson, the state’s career leader in passing yardage. Watson threw for 185 yards (unofficially) against Tucker to finish the season with 3,775 yards. His 13,077 career passing yards are 4,014 more than Zach Stanford, the previous record-holder, had for Metter from 2001-04.

- Quick-strike Creekside: The Seminoles had four one-play scoring drives against Kell. Dexter Knox, who rushed for 219 yards, had three of them on runs of 39, 12 and 51 yards. Elliott Berry had the other one on an 80-yard run in the third quarter that was his only carry of the game. Creekside rushed for 438 yards and outgained Kell 462-301.

- No title for Cobb: Kell’s loss, combined with McEachern’s loss to North Gwinnett in Class AAAAAA, means another year without a title for Cobb County. No team from the Cobb County School District has ever won a state championship. The only Cobb team to win a title was Marietta (part of the Marietta City Schools), which won Class AAA in 1967.

150 comments Add your comment

Top Tigers

December 7th, 2013
7:52 am

Good job Tucker Tigers

bufwolvesden

December 7th, 2013
8:09 am

I didn’t know tucker could pass

Dboy

December 7th, 2013
8:20 am

Bufwolvesden…Nobody thought we could but we can spread a defense out as well as go wing T! We have the Athletes and a QB who can throw the rock

WE R TUCKER!!!

Creekside-Dad

December 7th, 2013
8:26 am

Dekalb County vs Fulton County lets go long awaited Game Speed vs Speed

Jusfellofftheturniptruck

December 7th, 2013
8:55 am

Congratulations to the Tucker Tigers. Hard fought game and Gviile had chances to put up points early and did not.

Had em on the ropes early and then the Tucker D established itself and controlled the tempo.

Good luck in the finals.

Tucker n Creek will be a great game.

Dboy

December 7th, 2013
9:19 am

To all the Creekside fans..We are not going to take yall lightly trust that..We know what type of players yall have. But we are confident that we will handle business. The last time these two programs played was when coach Lamar was a Senior at Tucker playing ball and we lost. Revenge will be sweet!!

TuckerD

December 7th, 2013
9:46 am

@Creekside-Dad Creekside is apart of the Metrp (ARC) but come next Friday you will come up against a Metro championship caliber team we r not KELL n Whitewater

Tucker Nation Varsity

December 7th, 2013
9:51 am

I am so happy that Tucker made it to the championship. I also want to say congrats to the Creekside Seminoles for a great season. I know Keller and the whole entire Turman family are also very proud of you guys. My son and another kid on his Tucker team will be representing Tre Tre #4 with shirts. Last night my son told me he still can remember running around Ben Hill playing with him and lil bird, trust, lil rashard, lil Corey, big g and big kenan…. Man back then Ben hill had two real good squads coming up a year apart. A lot of those kids from both groups are doing It real big around the city and it’s always good to see them. I also want to thank Ben Hill Recreational Center and the coaches for making a home for the kids to come and learn how to play as a team.

Tucker Nation Varsity

December 7th, 2013
9:58 am

I can remember when those kids were only five years old and people use to say wow those kids can play. And at that age most of them wanted to be like Tre Tre. He was a Great big brother to a lot of the kid’s at the park. His team at that time was the power house and we were one year behind him. And now I see all of them all grown up and most of them are doing very well in school and on the field.

JAB

December 7th, 2013
10:01 am

Congratulations to both programs it should be a great state championship game, may the best team wins… JAB gives a shot out to Creekside & Tucker…!!!

CREEKSIDE-THE NOLES

December 7th, 2013
12:28 pm

@TuckerD It doesn’t matter we will see you in the Dome next week and we are not Gville either.

WELCOME TO THE NEWNESS……………NOLES FOOTBALL

Reeze

December 7th, 2013
1:01 pm

Congrats to The Tucker nation…………Looked as if Watson and crew would runaway with the game in the first qrt , But the Tucker Defense shut them down very well……… The Defense looked good , big plays , a lot of one on one open field tackles from numerous Tucker defenders , Watson had no whwere to run, Tucker defenders were in his face immediately after each snap of the ball…….I thought that this one vs Gville was for the championship , I watched both semi’s online last night, switching back and forth…….Creekside is the real deal , first time that I had a chance to see the Nole’s, #44 for Creekside is a beast…… Should be a great game

CREEKSIDE-THE NOLES

December 7th, 2013
1:34 pm

AND FOR ALL THOSE BLOGGERS (JAB AND OTHER GVILLE FOLKS & WHOEVER) SAYING THAT THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WAS BETWEEN TUCKER & GVILLE WELL WE WILL SEE ABOUT THAT FRIDAY. Y’ALL GONE LEARN ALL THAT TALK ANOUT TRADITION AND WHO’S IN IT EVERY YEAR CRAP DOESN’T MEAN NOTHING TO US, IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW NOW YA KNOW.

WELCOME TO THE NEWNESS…………….NOLES FOOTBALL

Sportsnut

December 7th, 2013
3:36 pm

@Tucker-D == Creekside is Southern Crescent.

Kell Dad

December 7th, 2013
4:05 pm

Just me or has Gainesville Steve lost internet connection. Thank You and congratulations Tucker on your win. The better two teams will meet in the Dome next week and that chance is well deserved by both. To my boys from Kell hold your heads high, so many teams never ever get as far as you did, and the competition was tough each step of the way. You were not over rated just outplayed last night, but that is because you were playing one of the 4 best teams in the state. Who the best is will be decided next week, but we are Proud of your efforts. Once again congratulations to Tucker and Creekside, Play hard and Fair next week.

FridatNightLightsFan

December 7th, 2013
4:36 pm

@Kell Dad – Who’s Gainesville Steve? :)

bh

December 7th, 2013
5:22 pm

@TuckerNationVarsity- Ben Hill actually had 3 teams that were loaded with talent that were a few years apart. You had Coach Swann’s team who was led by Damion Swann who is a starting CB at UGA. Damion was the kid that Tre Tre and all the kids his age looked up to and wanted to be like. Then you had Coach Campbell’s team which was a little younger than Swann’s team. They were loaded with talent, one of which was Shaq Wiggins who also starts at CB for UGA. Then you had our team that was a couple years younger than Campbell’s team. We were also loaded with talent, led by Tre Tre who was also a shut down CB. Them Ben Hill Babies.

Longhorn nation

December 7th, 2013
6:12 pm

@BH was that the Ben hill team that played in the dome after the falcons game vs Cherokee Warriors 8th grade

the man go noles

December 7th, 2013
7:12 pm

@Tucker Nation Varsity THANKS for the shirts that you guy’s are doing honoring Tre’ Tre’ but make sure you put the correct number on your shirts. The correct number is ” 2″ Deuce

5AReg6Fan

December 7th, 2013
8:57 pm

Where is Gainesville-Steve? Just as I stated weeks ago fair weather fan, riding the coattail…

“WE ARE TUCKER” – Another Final Appearance!!!

THEHILLISREAL

December 8th, 2013
12:51 am

@ BH Geno Smith the CB at Bama was on that team with Coach Campbell and Coach White. It’s amazing to see all the players from Ben Hill sprinkle all over the Atlanta area from Buford back down to SWATS.

HIGH 5

December 8th, 2013
3:16 am

Anyone know the link I can watch the Creekside vs Kell game?

Tucker Nation Varsity

December 8th, 2013
5:45 am

@the man go nobles- some kids played with Tre Tre when he wore the No#4 for Ben Hill. My son is using an old picture that was taken of them back then. So yes I am aware of the fact that his most recent jersey is #2. Trust me we know who we are supporting and showing love for.

Ardie Walton,Sr.

December 8th, 2013
8:32 am

Congrads Creekside keep up the good work from North Fulton EMS.

timm b3

December 8th, 2013
11:01 am

hey I got a news flash from another blog that TUCKER will open up there 2014 season against BOOKER.T WASHINGTON OF MIAMI at HALLFORD STAIDUM AND STEPHENSON PLAYS the other top team from Miami NORTHWESTERN do anybody have any imfo on that let me no PLS.

TUC2003

December 8th, 2013
12:03 pm

Just finishing watching Creekside films. The thing about film is that it very hard to gage how fast a team really is. But one thing I will say is wow! A very opportunistic defense. Their D puts them in great situations. They swarm to the ball quickly. Based on what I am seeing, this would surprise that hell out of me if this becomes an offensive matchup. Everything in me tells me that this will be a grind out defensive battle between 2 running teams. I believe this game will be decided by the kicking game. Field position and field goals will play a big part!!

Creekside-Dad

December 8th, 2013
12:43 pm

@TUC2003

The Auburn vs Mizzou game last night was a great example of a offensive matchup trading touchdowns. Think Auburn came out on top cause Mizzou got tired of trying to stop the run. But honestly I’m hoping for a nail bitter with double triple overtime

Southside

December 8th, 2013
2:58 pm

Wher did the Knox kid come from and why is he not more know. He is a good looking RB

Coach'sDad

December 8th, 2013
4:38 pm

@Southside
That’s DJ Knox .Last year DJ was a 2 string linebacker,what a great job of recognizing Talent
again by this coaching staff.Recruiters need to recognize !!

TUC2003

December 8th, 2013
4:48 pm

@Creekside-Dad both of those teams defenses were subpar. What I seen from your guys is closing speed. Also a lot of big runs, and the defense puts the offense in great positions. With this game, neither team really wants to pass the ball. Special teams will be a big factor as well as field position. I do not believe this game will be high scoring. Just good physical hard nosed football!!!

uwillbtuckedaway

December 8th, 2013
5:05 pm

Very proud of Coach Lamar and our Tucker Tigers.

Watson will see the Heisman stage in a couple years similar to James Winston on Saturday.

Excited about the opportunity to play Creekside and as the Gainesville folks found out on Friday:

WE ARE TUCKER!!!!!!!!

Creekside-Dad

December 8th, 2013
5:34 pm

@TUC2003 I’m so glad these two teams will be able to show their talents against other excellent players with the same caliber of skills. I can’t help but to pull for my son team as Winning the State is the only Goal that can complete this season. We’ve already suffered enough and State is the only way to end the season. Both undefeated teams going head to head in the State Championship

Gamer

December 8th, 2013
6:36 pm

I have always been a supporter of Tucker and do wish them the best of luck Friday. This is a must win for two reasons (1) Tucker moves up in class against some very roughed foes (2) If the proposal to make Tucker, Lakeside and Briarcliff (Briarwood?) cities; the supply of players will not be there. Milton, Johns Creek and a couple others were one year wonders because they kept their players the first year but in the second year they were done. Players will be spread out and limited only to their cities and not and the area. Just my opinion!!!!

Gamer

December 8th, 2013
6:38 pm

Excuse my extra “and” in the last sentence

Realist123

December 8th, 2013
7:33 pm

@Gamer, Briarcliff ’s students don’t attend Tucker now….too far; neither does anyone from the Lakeside area. They have their own school. Tucker won’t be affected even if these things you mention were to come to fruition. The County is still Dekalb County.

Realist123

December 8th, 2013
7:43 pm

By the way, people continue to cast doubt on this program and year after year those doubters are proven wrong. Maybe in 10 years, people outside of the Tucker community will finally learn what we here already know. This is a system, supported by a community of parents, educators and businesses alike.

First in 2008 every one wrote them off after losing big to Marist during the sesaon, they avenged that initial defeat by beating Marist in the dome to win state that year.

In 2011, even though they were undefeated, they were again written off for the more glamorous Lovejoy who they eventually dominated in the State Championship.

Fast forward to 2013, the Raters have consistently ranked Gainesville, Kell, Creekside, NSWR and Ware over this team only to watch Tucker dismantle the two they faced thus far.

So while the outsiders are concerned about Tucker’s chances in 6A, we are sitting back salivating at this opportunity to once again silence all doubters. As I said, this is a system or a program prepared to face any team in any class. Reloading begins after Friday. This is not your Stephenson or MLK teams of the past. Don’t believe us, just watch!

TuckerD

December 8th, 2013
9:12 pm

@Gamer – it’s not going to happen that way, Tucker will become it’s on incorporated City in the future, the steering committee has already informed the County. A lot of the businesses and citizens didn’t want parts of Tucker be apart of Lakeside so they started organizing. Also, Tucker’s CID is growing into the Northlake area and small parts of Stone Mtn so the infrastructure is solid.

With that said Gamer Tucker’s program will not be affected by what you mentioned. Infact, I see nothing but continous growth for the program . Let them keep doubting Realistic123 they will learn.

Wait till next year!

December 8th, 2013
9:38 pm

Welcome to the speed bowl.

Gainesville-Steve

December 8th, 2013
11:15 pm

For all of youll asking about me and the suicide watch comments…go to hell! I went hunting after the game like I always do. My team may have lost but I got me a 8-pointer. Yup, Steven bagged a big one. I was having a bad season with no good kills and Wham!! I couldnint believe it. Right in front of me around 5 this morning. Got him!

Now back to the stupid game. First I aint ashame to say that I am kinda embarassed because we played like sissies. When Tucker hurt D-Wat, the rest of the Gainesville team just stand there instead of getting Tucker back. I dont like that. Thats playing like a Paulding county team. I was so pissed off I could slap the lady sitting in front of me going Oh God Oh God. I couldn wait for her to shut the hell up. I didnt like the calls. we didnt try to challenge Tucker and we didnt try to use Byrd more. Tried to use D-Wat to much and he is great but he couldnt do everything. He needed some help. The widereceivers didnt go hard for some balls even though Gaudlock did great. But I read all of these blogs after I got home today and I see where some of itsonlywrite and turniptruck said our dfeense played great against Tucker. Really? Explain how they could march down the field in 42 seconds for the first score then because I was there and that was pitiful. Explain how they let that midget Tucker quarterback throw a long pass for the second TD. Explain how they didnt blow past the Tucker O-Line which look like nothing but some fat girls and allowed the Tucker QB all day many times to look for an open receiver. Explain how Tucker kept the ball all but 3.23 minutes of the 4th quarter with 100% run plays that ended with another TD. Explain it! I herad some fools as I was walking 3out after the game talking about well we did play very good defense on Tucker. WHAT! What game were you fols at? I was there. WE LOST and I am very embarased! Point Blamk! We waited until now to call a conservative game like we had to mjuch respect for Tucker. Im still pissed.
Tuccker isnt better than Gainesville. Creekside isnt better than Gainesville either. Youll lucky we didnt coach or play well because we would have taken taht dome by storm again like last year. Anyway, I probably will not blog again this year. This is very embarasing.

CHS2001

December 9th, 2013
12:06 am

@Gainesville-Steve, if Creekside and Tucker are not as good as your team, then why are we at the dome and you’re at home watching? Maybe it’s because the coaches teach football like the teachers teach grammar. Neither one looks very good. Let’s try a little proofreading next time. All that matters is that the two best teams will be playing for all the marbles. Go Noles!

OGTiger

December 9th, 2013
2:26 am

@Gainesville-Steven you seem a tad bit salty , but we got bigger fish to fry in the dome Friday….. Aye! Somebody tell DBoy to bring the hot sauce cause them Tigers gon eat !!!! I’m sorry Creekside no disrespect but your in our way

TuckerD

December 9th, 2013
7:11 am

@Gainesville-steve stop making excuses ya’ll just couldn’t make the right adjustments on offense once our defense started containing Watson, bottom line. You got on these blogs a dogged out our program like we were some kind of Fluke, man Kick Rocks….you saw our so called elementary offense and small QB ( as you called it ) whipped G-ville Butt.

Old Bear

December 9th, 2013
7:45 am

Realist123, I generally agree with your posts, but at NO time was Lovejoy the ‘glamorous’ pick to win the state championship in 2011. You guys were the #1 team from wire to wire, and were the odds-on favorite to win it all. Lovejoy may have gotten some sympathy votes, but they were never the glamorous choice.

Tucker does A LOT of things well, but false modesty/feigned humility isn’t one of them.

Old Bear

December 9th, 2013
7:47 am

Not that I think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s not bragging if you can back it up.

Informed Observer

December 9th, 2013
8:50 am

@Old Bear

I agree with Realist123. Maybe his choice of using the term “glamorous” was a bit off, but if you can recall every story about that 2011 final was about Lovejoy’s defense and yes they were favored despite Tucker being undefeated. Remember Lovejoy was also undefeated too and most of their opponents left their games scoreless.

That ability to shut out so many while blocking so many punts is what drove me to attend a Lovejoy playoff game to see it first hand. Remember they coined the phrase “3 seconds!” meaning that’s all you had because that defense was coming. That Lovejoy team was exactly as advertised, so you couldn’t blame the media outlets. I think what @Realist is saying is that the 2011 Tucker defense (which has always been their bread and butter) was overlooked and they took that 2011 game by storm.

Informed Observer

December 9th, 2013
8:52 am

I should add that I have been a follower of Lovejoy ever since. Was on pins and needles last year hoping they would pull it off against Norcross.

ALL TUCKERRED UP

December 9th, 2013
9:19 am

@ Gainesville Stevie You need to throw yourself on your what ever point deer. Mr. sour grapes.
You have all the excuses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU LOST Go to your corner & suck your thumb !!!!!!

ALL TUCKERRED UP

December 9th, 2013
9:22 am

This week I will be cheering for ALL of the TUCKER COACHES that are in the finals.
LAMAR—- Coach Stephens
TUCKER — Coach Lamar
NORCROSS- Coach Maloof
Take all the honors home !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Old Bear

December 9th, 2013
10:08 am

I believe Norcross, Tucker, Buford, and Lamar County will win state championships. I declined to pick champions from Classification A because it’s divided, and I’m recusing myself from Class AAAA because of an obvious conflict of interest.

Informed Observer

December 9th, 2013
11:28 am

Adding a quote from another blogger that I hope sticks for the Tucker-Creekside game:

“THE SPEED BOWL!”

Let’s get it AJC, put it out there.