Sensational junior quarterback Deshaun Watson and high-scoring Gainesville will meet surprise finalist Ware County next week at the Georgia Dome in the Class AAAAA state finals. See how they advanced below in our semifinals recaps. Also, check out how the other classes played out Friday night.
Gainesville 28, Whitewater 14: Visiting Gainesville recovered three fumbles by Whitewater including one on the opening kickoff. Quarterback Deshaun Watson ran for a touchdown and threw a 5-yard score to slot back Rodney Lackey. Running back Michael Byrd rounded out the scoring for Gainesville on runs of three and 55 yards. Gainesville led 21-6 at halftime and extended the lead to 28-6 before a late score by Whitewater.
Ware County 24, Northside-Warner Robins 17 (OT): Host Ware County scored in overtime, then held the visiting Eagles scoreless to advance to the state finals. Northside-Warner Robins scored a touchdown with 20 seconds left of regulation, recovered an onside kick and kicked a field goal with seven seconds remaining to tie the contest. Xavier Tobler then ran four consecutive plays ending with a 1-yard touchdown in overtime for Ware County. Northside-Warner Robins failed to respond with a touchdown in its overtime possession.
Calhoun 21, Lamar County 14: Lamar County could not stop the strong ground game of host Calhoun allowing three rushing scores. Running back Alex Urbano scored twice on runs of 18 and two yards for the Yellow Jackets, and quarterback Taylor Lamb added Calhoun’s other rushing score on a 1-yard run. Calhoun rushed for 245 yards including 160 yards on 24 carries by Urbano. Calhoun outgained Lamar County 307 yards to 286.
Jefferson 42, Greater Atlanta Christian 14: Jefferson rolled up 410 yards of offense, including 269 on the ground, in sprinting past visiting Greater Atlanta Christian in a Class AA semifinal Friday night. The host Dragons took a 27-14 lead at the half on the strength of first-quarter touchdown catches by Chandler Thompson (10 yards) and Isaiah Blake (20 yards) from quarterback Bryant Shirreffs. Shirreffs had two scores (53, 5) and 134 yards on the ground, and Tristen Jackson ran for 79 yard and a touchdown for Jefferson. Linebacker Wesley Simonton totaled 14 tackles including three for a loss for the victorious Dragons.
Dooly County 10, Lincoln County 7: With less than three seconds remaining in the first half, Tay Daniels blocked a Lincoln County field goal attempt. Mark Clark scooped up the ball and returned the ball for a touchdown to give Dooly County a 10-0 lead. Host Lincoln County scored its lone touchdown with less than three minutes left, but turned the ball over on downs on its final possession.
Eagle’s Landing Christian 27, George Walton Academy 14: Host Eagle’s Landing Christian was led by Jevius Terry, who returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, blocked a first-quarter field goal and ran it back 76 yards for a score and later had an interception. D.J. Curl and Marquis Griffin also had interceptions for the victorious Chargers. Running back Lane Timpson (five yards) and quarterback Dalton Etheridge (four yards) each ran for scores for ELCA.
Emanuel County Institute 38, Wilcox County 27: Quarterback Caleb Pressey rushed for 101 yards and a 40-yard touchdown run and Taiwan Daughtry had a 75-yard interception return for a score as visiting Emanuel County Institute outlasted Wilcox County. Johnathan Howard got Wilcox County close in the third quarter on a kickoff return for touchdown, but Bulldogs' fullback Greg Purcell scored on a 7-yard run to clinch the game for ECI.
Prince Avenue Christian 32, Landmark Christian 22: Conner Sibley scored on a 24-yard run with 1:58 left in the game to clinch the win for host Prince Avenue Christian after Landmark Christian had closed to 24-22 on a Jeremiah Kirkland 5-yard run and subsequent 2-point conversion. Prince Avenue Christian’s Carl Mattox scored twice in the first half on a 15-yard run off a fake field goal and a 75-yard scamper on third-and-20 to help the Wolverines to a 14-7 halftime lead.