Class 3A championship

When: Saturday, Noon

No. 6 Cedar Grove Saints

Record/Region finish: 11-3, Region 5 champion

Coach: John Adams

How they got there: d. White County 79-0, d. Southeast Bulloch 48-10, d. Crisp County 28-6, d. Appling County 27-6.

Top players: RB Rashod Dubinion, QB Jamar Graham, WR Janiran Bonner, LB Quinterio Lawson, DL Adonijah Green, LB Everett Roussaw, DL Christen Miller, LB Ventrillo Dunlap, DB Kayin Lee.

Worth noting: The Saints are back in the championship game for the first time since 2019 under first-year coach John Adams. The offense is led by Rashod Dubinion, a Vanderbilt commit who has rushed for 1,618 yards and 23 touchdowns. QB Jamar Graham shined against Appling with 267 yards and three TDs, giving him 1,354 yards passing and 15 TDs. The top targets are Georgia Tech commit Janiran Bonner and Trevon Ferrell. The defensive leaders are four-star lineman Christen Miller, sackmaster Adonijah Green  and linebacker Everett Rousssaw, the team’s leading tackler.

Carver Atlanta Panthers

Record/Region finish: 11-2, Region 5 runner-up

Coach: Darren Myles

How they got there: d. North Hall 56-17, d. Liberty County 53-6, d. Burke County 46-14, d. Pierce County 19-17.

Top players: RB Quintavious Lockett, QB Bryce Bowens, RB Jarveous Brown,  WR Tobias Robinson, OLB Devonte Amasiani, MLB Dialo Mosley, TE/DE Terrell Lightfoot, DB Quintavious Davis.

Worth noting: The Panthers have flourished behind their outstanding running game. They feature a pair of 1,000-yard backs – Jarveous Brown (1,608 yards, eight TDs) and Quinterious Lockett (1,393 yards, 18 TDs). Locket went for 185 yards and three touchdowns in the win over defending state champion Pierce.  Bryce Bowens, a transfer from Grayson, has thrown for 1,627 yards and 14 touchdowns in nine games. Robinson is the top target with 34 receptions and DeAndre Buchannon averages 23.3 yards per catch and has seven TDs. Devonte Amasiani (140 tackles) and Dialo Mosley (122 tackles) lead a hard-nosed defense. Terrell Lightfoot has a dozen sacks and Quintavious Davis leads with three interceptions.

Series: Cedar Grove leads the series 8-1 and prevailed 17-0 during the regular season, a decision that eventually helped determine the region title. Carver’s only victory came last year, a 35-21 win over the No. 1-ranked Saints.