Championship Games in Review

Class AAAAAA

Norcross 31, North Gwinnett 14

Recap: Myles Autry’s 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown helped get Norcross out of a 14-0 hole in the first quarter, and his 69-yard TD reception from A.J. Bush – who threw for 303 yards – put the game on ice with 9:39 left. Norcross scored the final 31 points.

History: Norcross became the first team to win back-to-back championships in the highest class since Camden County in 2008 and 2009 and the first from Gwinnett County to do it since the 2000-2002 Parkview dynasty. Norcross became the fifth team in 18 tries to avenge a regular-season loss in a state championship game. North Gwinnett had beaten Norcross 36-17 on Sept. 13. Norcross is only the fourth team to win the highest classification after a 1-2 start. The others are 2009 Camden County, 1996 Brookwood and 1978 Griffin.

GAME STATISTICS

North Gwinnett

14

0

0

0

14

Norcross

6

8

10

7

31

First quarter

NG – Nate Brown 5 pass from Hayden Sphire (Mike D’Angola kick), 2:50

NG – Caleb Scott 20 pass from Sphire (D’Angola kick), 1:40

N – Myles Autry 92 kickoff return (kick failed), 1:28

Second quarter

N – Clinton Lynch 34 pass from A.J. Bush (Lynch pass from Bush), 4:19

Third quarter

N – Blake Bingham 32 field goal, 5:53

N – Bush 4 yd run (Bingham kick), 0:25

Fourth quarter
N – Autry 69 pass from Bush (Bingham kick), 9:39

North Gwinnett

Norcross

First Downs

17

12

Rushes / Yards (Net)

33 / 96

30 / 47

Passing Yards (Net)

186

303

Pass Comp. / Att. / Int.

20 / 41 / 4

17 / 23 / 2

Total Offense Plays / Yards

74 / 282

53 / 350

Fumbles / Lost

1 / 0

1 / 1

Penalties / Yards

7 / 44

14 / 133

Time of Possession

26:11

21:49

Sacks By: Number / Yards

0 / 0

2 / 8

Rushing: North Gwinnett – C.J. Leggett 29-106, Almonzo Brown 1-2, Team 1-(-4), Hayden Sphire 2-(-8). Norcross – Josh Boyd 14-30, A.J. Bush 7-12, Jacob Gassert 1-3, KaDarius Garrett 2-3, Myles Autry 2-1, Clinton Lynch 1-1, James Keeling 1-(-1), Team 2-(-2).
Passing: North Gwinnett – Hayden Sphire 20-41-4-186. Norcross – A.J. Bush 17-23-2-303.
Receiving: North Gwinnett – C.J. Leggett 6-61, Caleb Scott 5-51, Nate Brown 4-47, Almonzo Brown 4-14, Daniel Imatorbhebhe 1-13. Norcross – Clinton Lynch 5-135, Myles Autry 5-95, Chris Herndon 5-45, Darian Dennis 2-28.ss – Clinton Lynch 5-135, Myles Autry 5-95, Chris Herndon 5-45, Darian Dennis 2-28.

Class AAAAA

Creekside 52, Tucker 28

Recap: Creekside put up 535 yards in total offense, and RB Dexter Knox scored what is believed to be a state-finals record five touchdowns. With the score 14-14, Creekside’s Cameron Jackson returned the second-half kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, and Creekside scored on five of its next six possessions. Knox, who rushed for 164 yards, scored his fifth touchdown with 4:06 left.

History: Creekside, opened in 1990, won its first state title and became the first champion from south Fulton County since Palmetto in 1983. Olten Downs, in his first season at Creekside, became one of fewer than 10 men to win state titles as a head coach and player (2000 Shaw). Griffin’s Steve Devoursney joined Downs on that list the next day. Creekside is one of only 10 teams to break 50 points in a state final. Research by the Georgia High School Football Historians Association has documented nine players with four touchdowns, most recently Cody Getz of Buford in 2009, but none with five before Knox.

GAME STATISTICS

Tucker

14

0

14

0

28

Creekside

7

7

24

14

52

First quarter

T – Joseph Farrar 1 run (Eric Weber kick), 7:53

C – Dexter Knox 1 run (Francisco Alejandre kick), 2:04

T – Dominick Sanders 38 pass from Farrar (Weber kick), 0:26

Second quarter

C – Knox 3 yd run (Alejandre kick), 1:50

Third quarter

C – Cameron Jackson 99 kickoff return (Alejandre kick), 11:47

C – Knox 16 run (Alejandre kick), 10:01

T – Yaquis Shelley 21 run (Weber kick), 7:53

C – Alejandre 33 field goal, 6:25

C – Knox 22 run (Alejandre kick), 4:05

T – Sanders 65 pass from Farrar (Weber kick), 1:06

Fourth quarter

C – Jayson Stanley 77 pass from Felix Harper (Alejandre kick), 9:52

C – Knox 7 run (Alejandre kick), 4:06

Tucker

Creekside

First Downs

17

25

Rushes / Yards (Net)

38 / 158

56 / 326

Passing Yards (Net)

178

209

Pass Comp. / Att. / Int.

7 / 19 / 0

8 / 14 / 1

Total Offense Plays / Yards

57 / 336

70 / 535

Fumbles / Lost

4 / 3

1 / 0

Penalties / Yards

9 / 65

7 / 75

Time of Possession

20:36

27:24

Sacks By: Number / Yards

2 / 19

3 / 31

Rushing: Tucker – Joseph Farrar 15-74, Elijah Sullivan 7-60, Yaquis Shelley 3-30, Devin Towns 2-2, Quentin Woodard 1-0, Team 2-(-3), Dominick Sanders 8-(-5). Creekside – Dexter Knox 25-164, Bricen Terry 18-140, Elliott Berry 3-30, Darvin Williams 1-16, Evan Berry 1-(-2), Felix Harper 4-(-11), Team 4-(-11).
Passing: Tucker – Joseph Farrar 7-18-0-178, Yaquis Shelley 0-1-0-0. Creekside – Felix Harper 8-14-1-209.

Receiving: Tucker – Yaquis Shelley 3-32, Dominick Sanders 2-119, Devin Towns 1-15, Nekyle Lundie 1-12. Creekside – Jayson Stanley 3-82, Dexter Knox 1-40, Dejaun Duncan 1-40, Bricen Terry 1-29, Cameron Jackson 1-9, Darvin Williams 1-9.

Class AAAA

Griffin 56, Carrollton 35

Recap: Griffin QB Jaquez Parks passed for 338 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 216 yards and a touchdown – setting a state-finals record with 544 yards from scrimmage – in the highest-scoring state final in GHSA history. Carrollton led 14-0 and 21-7 in the first quarter, but it didn’t deter Griffin, which threw two interceptions but never punted. The game’s key moment came with 2:59 left in the first half, with Carrollton trailing 28-24 with a first-and-goal at the 3. Griffin’s Ryan Cochran returned a fumble 90 yards for a touchdown.

History: Griffin won its first state title since 1978. Griffin scored the third-most points in a state final behind 1971 Valdosta (62) and 1983 Tift County (59). The 91 points for both teams broke the record set in 2010 when Brookwood beat Colquitt County 52-38. Griffin coach Steve Devoursney became one of fewer than 10 men to win Georgia state titles as a head coach and player (1988 R.E. Lee).

GAME STATISTICS

Carrollton

21

6

8

0

35

Griffin

14

21

14

7

56

First quarter

C – Trey Chivers 24 run (Tyler Newsome kick), 7:06

C – Chivers 9 run (Newsome kick), 4:46

G – Trey Willis 30 pass from Jacquez Parks (Tristen Mathis kick), 3:13

C – Chivers 48 pass from Wil Garrett (Newsome kick), 2:56

G – Willis 53 pass from Parks (Mathis kick), 1:40

Second quarter

C – Newsome 34 field goal, 10:47

G – Keyston Fuller 80 pass from Parks (Mathis kick), 10:35

G – Telly Sloan 1 run (Mathis kick), 7:55

G – Ryan Cochran 90 fumble return, 4:53

C – Newsome 23 field goal, 0:06

Third quarter

G – Willis 11 pass from Parks (Mathis kick), 10:59

C – Chivers 5 run (Brandon Walton pass from Garrett), 9:11

G – Willis 98 kickoff return (Mathis kick), 8:58

Fourth quarter
G – Parks 73 run (Mathis kick), 8:08

Carrollton

Griffin

First Downs

23

21

Rushes / Yards (Net)

48 / 169

24 / 215

Passing Yards (Net)

231

338

Pass Comp. / Att. / Int.

12 / 18 / 0

16 / 21 / 2

Total Offense Plays / Yards

66 / 400

45 / 553

Fumbles / Lost

3 / 2

1 / 0

Penalties / Yards

0 / 0

7 / 42

Time of Possession

30:50

17:10

Sacks By: Number / Yards

2 / 30

1 / 3


Rushing: Carrollton – Trey Chivers 8-70, Wil Garrett 14-38, Jarvis Terrell 15-35, Malik Sheppard 10-22, Dante Wigley 1-4. Griffin – Jaquez Parks 16-216, Devantae Freeman 3-8, Telly Sloan 3-4, Team 2-(-13).

Passing: Carrollton – Wil Garrett 11-17-0-204, Cristian Ramirez 1-1-0-27. Griffin – Jaquez Parks 16-21-2-338.
Receiving: Carrollton – Andrew Turner 6-139, Trey Chivers 2-43, Brandon Walton 2-18, DeAntoine Cammons 1-27, Jarvis Terrell 1-4. Griffin – Trey Willis 7-167, Christian Owens 3-21, Keyston Fuller 2-111, Randall Hunt 2-6, Quandarius Weems 1-19, Darquavious Mangham 1-14.

Class AAA

Buford 35, Washington County 19

Recap: Buford trailed 13-0 late in the first half but scored touchdowns on five of its next six possessions. Taylor Mitchell’s 43-yard TD pass to Isaac Nauta put Buford on the board just before halftime. Nauta, a sophomore tight end/defensive end, had two sacks and three tackles for losses and forced a fumble on defense. The game’s moment of truth came with 8:55 left in the fourth quarter and Washington County trailing 21-13 and facing a fourth-and-1 at its 41. QB A.J. Gray was stopped for no gain by linebackers Korie Rogers and Joshua Thomas. Washington County RB Melvin Hill, who entered with more than 1,700 yards rushing, was held to 22 on 10 carries. Washington County, which entered averaging 49.9 points per game, failed to get a first down on six of its first eight possessions.

History: Buford won its 10th state title overall, ninth in 13 seasons and sixth in seven years. Buford became the first team in state history to break 700 points in a season, finishing with a state-record 707. Buford coach Jess Simpson became the fourth coach in GHSA history to win six state titles.

GAME STATISTICS

Washington County

0

13

0

6

19

Buford

0

7

7

21

35

Second quarter

W – D.J. Sanders 41 pass from A.J. Gray (Jed May kick), 11:53

W – Melvin Hill 86 punt return (kick blocked), 6:31

B – Issac Nauta 43 pass from Taylor Mitchell (Matt Bonadies kick), 0:13

Third quarter

B – Thomas Wilson 28 run (Bonadies kick), 10:06

Fourth quarter

B – Joshua Thomas 18 run (Bonadies kick), 11:55

B – Wilson 35 run (Bonadies kick), 8:09

W – Sanders 64 pass from Gray (run failed), 6:40

B – Thomas 5 run (Bonadies kick), 1:40

Washington County

Buford

First Downs

12

15

Rushes / Yards (Net)

26 / 42

39 / 228

Passing Yards (Net)

231

167

Pass Comp. / Att. / Int.

16 / 30 / 0

8 / 14 / 1

Total Offense Plays / Yards

56 / 273

53 / 395

Fumbles / Lost

3 / 1

1 / 1

Penalties / Yards

3 /28

9 / 47

Time of Possession

20;28

27:32

Sacks By: Number / Yards

1 / 9

4 / 23

Rushing: Washington County – Melvin Hill 10-22; A.J. Gray 15-16; Danyale Wicker 1-4. Buford – Thomas Wilson 14-118; Joshua Thomas 15-94; Evyn Cooper 2-9; Xavier Gantt 1-6; Donte’ Gordon 2-3; Steven Reese 1-2; Team 1-(-1); Taylor Mitchell 3-(-3).

Passing: Washington County – A.J. Gray 16-30-0-231. Buford – Taylor Mitchell 6-11-1-126; Montgomery VanGorder 2-3-0-41.

Receiving: Washington County – D.J. Sanders 8-169; Josh Burden 3-29; Melvin Hill 2-16; J. Latimer 1-7; Byrston Jones 1-6; Logan Hunt 1-4. Buford – Issac Nauta 3-82; Tre’ Neal 3-56; Thomas Wilson 2-29.

Class AA

Lovett 14, Lamar County 7

Recap: Lovett drove 80 yards in 10 plays on its first drive of the second half to take a 14-7 lead on Grant Haley’s 41-yard run, then didn’t let Lamar County past the Lovett 49-yard line for the rest of the game. Lovett’s Bear Jameson and Jack Gearon each had two tackles for losses as they helped hold Lamar County’s Austin twins – both 1,000-yard rushers - in check. Haley went over 100 yards rushing for the seventh consecutive game, surpassing 1,500 for the season, and scored his 27th touchdown of the year.

History: Lovett won its first state title since 1970. Lovett became the first private school to win a state title higher than the lowest classification since Marist in 2003.

GAME STATISTICS

Lovett

0

7

7

0

14

Lamar County

0

7

0

0

7

Second quarter

L – Jack McGranahan 8 pass from Willie Candler (Cole McGowan kick), 9:07

LC – Quentin Frazer 11 run (Tyler Scandrett kick), 5:21

Third quarter

L – Grant Haley 41 run (McGowan kick), 8:09

Lovett

Lamar County

First Downs

19

10

Rushes / Yards (Net)

59 / 276

29 / 156

Passing Yards (Net)

77

26

Pass Comp. / Att. / Int.

8 / 9 / 0

4 / 5 / 0

Total Offense Plays / Yards

68 / 353

34 / 182

Fumbles / Lost

0 / 0

1 / 1

Penalties / Yards

6 / 53

6 / 36

Time of Possession

31:00

17:00

Sacks By: Number / Yards

2 / 12

0 / 0


Rushing: Lovett – Grant Haley 22-131, Murphy Lee 23-96, Willie Candler 8-40, Jay Harris 4-7, Jonathan Thomas 2-2. Lamar County – Lawrence Austin 9-73, Lance Austin 10-54, Juan Tucker 7-25, Quentin Frazer 2-14, Qua Searcy 1-(-10).

Passing: Lovett – Willie Candler 8-9-0-77. Lamar County – Lance Austin 4-5-0-26.

Receiving: Lovett – Jonathan Thomas 2-27, Jack McGranahan 2-20, Jack Stevens 1-16, Murphy Lee 1-8, Alex Sayles 1-4, Sam Perry 1-2. Lamar County – Qua Searcy 3-15, Ginori Smith 1-3, Lawrence Austin 0-8.

Class A (public)

Marion County 12, Charlton County 3

Recap: Marion County’s 5-foo-9, 155-pound sophomore RB/DB Lorenzo Smothers rushed for 105 yards, caught a 19-yard TD pass and had an interception. Marion County held Charlton County to six first downs, 137 yards in total offense and 2-of-19 passing. DL Quantez Freeman had 2.5 tackles for losses. Charlton County failed to get a first down in the second half or on any of its last seven offensive possessions.

History: Marion County won its first state championship in its eight seasons as a one-county high school. The Eagles played as Tri-County High from 1976 through 2005 with students from Marion, Schley and Webster counties.

GAME STATISTICS

Charlton County

3

0

0

0

3

Marion County

0

3

2

7

12

First quarter

C – Thomas Johnson 25 field goal, 8:21

Second quarter

M – A.J. Wells 22 field goal, 0:10

Third quarter

M – Safety (ball fumbled out of end zone)

Fourth quarter
M – Lorenzo Smothers 22 pass from Justin Eckert (Wells kick), 11:47

Charlton County

Marion County

First Downs

6

12

Rushes / Yards (Net)

29 / 129

44 / 103

Passing Yards (Net)

8

131

Pass Comp. / Att. / Int.

2 / 19 / 1

4 / 15 / 0

Total Offense Plays / Yards

48 / 137

59 / 234

Fumbles / Lost

1 / 0

4 / 1

Penalties / Yards

3 / 15

0 / 0

Time of Possession

21:35

26:25

Sacks By: Number / Yards

2 / 17

0 / 0


Rushing:
Charlton County – Andrew Lee 25-118, Curtis Nixon 1-11, Trae Harrington 3-0. Marion County – Lorenzo Smothers 20-105, Johnny Royal 16-28, Team 2-(-3), Justin Eckert 6-(-27).

Passing: Charlton County – Trae Harrington 2-19-1-8. Marion County – Justin Eckert 4-15-0-131.

Receiving: Charlton County – Curtis Nixon 1-6, Daveron Reed 1-2. Marion County – Lorenzo Smothers 2-31, Trae Swanson 1-68, Keyshawn Baker 1-32.

Class A (private)

Aquinas 27, Calvary Day 7

Recap: Aquinas junior RB Ruben Garnett rushed for 111 yards (giving him 1,931 unofficially on the season), and Liam Welch threw two touchdowns to Daniel Lindsey. Welch’s 42-yard TD pass to Lindsey with 5:04 left in the third quarter, making the score 21-7, was the game’s biggest play. It came on first down after an interception by Antonio Clark. Aquinas’ defense was the difference. Calvary Day QB Michael Peterson, the leading passer in Class A with more than 3,000 yards, was intercepted three times and sacked five. Calvary Day had first downs inside Aquinas’ 25-yard line twice in the third quarter without scoring.

History: Aquinas, established in 1957, is a state champion in football for the first time. The state’s youngest head coach, James Leonard, is the first first-time coach to complete an undefeated season in Georgia since the 1950s. Aquinas became the first Augusta school to win a state championship since Josey in 1995.

GAME STATISTICS

Calvary Day

7

0

0

0

7

Aquinas

0

14

7

6

27

First quarter

C – Robert Heyward 16 run (Dan Hatch kick), 3:43

Second quarter

A – Ruben Garnett 37 run (Justin Thompson kick), 5:51

A – Daniel Lindsey 12 pass from Liam Welch (Thompson kick), 0:11

Third quarter

A – Lindsey 42 pass from Welch (Thompson kick), 5:04

Fourth quarter

A – John Morris 33 run (kick failed), 7:40

Calvary Day

Aquinas

First Downs

21

16

Rushes / Yards (Net)

38 / 155

33 / 142

Passing Yards (Net)

173

132

Pass Comp. / Att. / Int.

16 / 38 / 3

9 / 12 / 0

Total Offense Plays / Yards

76 / 328

45 / 274

Fumbles / Lost

2 / 0

4 / 0

Penalties / Yards

5 / 30

2 / 10

Time of Possession

26:12

21:48

Sacks By: Number / Yards

1 / 6

5 / 32

Rushing: Calvary Day – Robert Heyward 27-154, Derek Kirkland 5-24, Jordan Walker 1-9, Michael Peterson 5-(-32). Aquinas – Ruben Garnett 19-111, John Morris 5-51, Daniel Lindsey 2-15, Liam Welch 6-(-14), Team 1-(-21).

Passing: Calvary Day – Michael Peterson 16-38-3-173. Aquinas – Liam Welch 9-12-0-132.

Receiving: Calvary Day – Milan Richard 6-89, Jordan Walker 5-32, Derek Kirkland 2-25, Khaliq Hughes 2-22, Robert Heyward 1-5. Aquinas – Daniel Lindsey 3-69, Chris Lambert 3-39, Ruben Garnett 2-11, Justin Gibbs 1-13.

*Statistics provided by Kevin Higgs and Ken Skinner and are courtesy of the Golden Knights of West Georgia Technical College. For complete stats from each game, click here. Note that these numbers may differ slightly from statistics kept by the individual schools.

Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.

4 comments Add your comment

JAB

December 17th, 2013
3:09 pm

Congrats to all the 2013 State champs…

WolfDawg

December 18th, 2013
5:38 pm

Ditto what JAB sez!

Sednwol07

December 19th, 2013
7:06 pm

And state runner-ups too!

yellowjacket

December 22nd, 2013
11:07 am

Anyone who made the final four had a GREAT year!! Congrats to all!!!!!!