We finally made it! Eight state titles are on the line as the most rewarding part of the Georgia high school football season unfolds this weekend. For two days the best of the best will face off in the new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. As a former player, let me say that there is no better feeling than getting the opportunity to play in a State Championship game. On the surface, the players will say that the game is like every other game, but trust me these games are different. It’s hard for players to contain their excitement. Win or lose, it will be something these players will look back on with great pride – an experience that only a handful get an opportunity to participate.
Over the next couple of days we will get to see some faces and teams that seem to be here (State Championship) every year. There is Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in 1-A private. The Clinch County Panthers from 1-A public. And of course, there is Colquitt County, but there are some teams who weren’t favored during the regular season that went on a tear during the playoffs. Teams like Hapeville Charter who upset Benedictine and Heard County in back-to-back weeks. The Hornets will battle Rabun County Saturday in the 2-A title game. Head coach Winston Gordon is obviously very proud of his team and their fight to make it to Atlanta. But he knows that defeating the Wildcats of Rabun County won’t be easy. Head coach Lee Shaw’s team has been very impressive too. Look for an exciting 2-A title game.
The Colquitt County Packers have been here before. Since 2008, the Packers have won 105 games and two State Championships under head coach Rush Propst. But the Packers have taken a different path than normal to get to this point. They ended the regular season losing back-to-back games and failed to win their region. But when they got into the playoffs, they went on the road and got impressive victories against Walton, Archer and Brookwood. Part of that road success came with a stout defense that only gave up a total of 49 points in the playoffs.
So despite some questions about Colquitt County - here they are competing for another state title. The Packers will square off against an equally talented and poised North Gwinnett team who has been there before as well. Can’t wait to watch this 7-A state championship matchup!
And then there were two… Steven Krajewski and Knox Kadum. One of these top QBs has been to the state title game before. Kadum is the 6’2 junior from Rome who will be competing in his second straight title game. He led the Wolves to victory last season and hopes that his experience will pay off. Meanwhile, Krajewski will be competing in his first State Championship. The 6’4 Colquitt County senior, and UConn commit appears to be peaking at the just the right time.
Finally, shout out to Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville, Justin Fields of Harrison, Emory Jones of Heard County, and Jarren Williams of Central Gwinnett. They all had fantastic seasons. We’d like to thank them for all of the highlights, and wish them good luck in the future!
1. Trevor Lawrence. Cartersville. PRO. Season Over.
2. Justin Fields. Harrison. DUAL. Season Over.
3. Emory Jones. Heard County. DUAL. Last Game: Passed For 338 yards. Next Game: Season Over.
4. Jarren Williams. Central Gwinnet. DUAL. Season Over.
5. Knox Kadum. Rome. PRO. Last Game: 7-12 for 107 yards passing and 2 TDs Rushed for 143 and 2 TDs on 14 Carries. Next Game: Warner Robins.
6. Steven Krajewski. Colquitt County. Scored 3 consecutive TDs in second Half. Next Game: North Gwinnet.
7. Michael Barret. Lowndes. DUAL. Season Over.
8. Gunnar Watson. Taylor County. PRO. Season Over
Others to Watch:
1. Harrison Bailey. Marietta. PRO. Season Over.