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Friday, December 9, 2011 - 7:25pm

Tucker Downs Lovejoy in AAAA final

In order to reach and win the state championship, a team has to have a strong running game and play great defense.
Tucker has done both all throughout the regular season and its first four playoff games.
The Tigers did not shy away from it in the AAAA Championship game, as they dominated the Lovejoy Wildcats 22-7 to their second state title in four years.
The Tigers got going midway through the first quarter as Jordan Landry scored on a 35-yard run to give the Tigers the 6-0 lead. The Tigers would score again early in the second quarter, but it would the defense that would get the job done.
Lovejoy was deep in its own territory and quarterback Alejandro Bennefield was sacked by the entire Tucker team in the end zone which resulted in a safety. The Tigers offense thanked the defense with a touchdown run by Yusuf Minor and the Tigers led 15-0 at halftime.
The Tigers got going again midway through the third quarter as Rondell Simmons scored on a touchdown run to give the Tigers a 22-0 lead over the Wildcats.
It was tough sledding for the Wildcats all game long. They got on the board in the fourth quarter as Bennefield threw a touchdown pass to Arshad Jackson to cut the Tigers lead to 15. But because of the Tigers stingy defense that was led by Sancharles Zachary and Joshua Dawson, Bennefield could never get into a rhythm. Bennefield committed three turnovers including two interceptions which proved to be the difference.
With the win, the Tigers finished the season with a 15-0 record and won their second title in school history. The win is also an important one for head coach Franklin Stephens. He is now the first African-American coach in Georgia high school football history to win multiple state titles. The win for Tucker also marks the 17th time a team from DeKalb County has won the state championship.
For Lovejoy, it ends its season at 14-1. The Wildcats were the first team from Clayton County to reach the state championship since 1999 when Mt. Zion, Jonesboro was in the title game. The last team to win a state title from Clayton County was Forest Park in 1987.

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