Class 5A Preview: Warner Robins vs. Calhoun
Class 5A Championship
When: Saturday, 5 p.m.
No. 3 Warner Robins Demons
Record/Region finish: 13-1, Region 1 runner-up
Coach: Marquis Westbrook
How they got there: d. Jonesboro 64-20, d. Cartersville 24-17, d. Jones County 49-21, d. Creekside 40-15.
Top players: QB Christon Lane, RB/SS Fred Perry, WR Daveon Walker, DL Vic Burley, DL/TE Jay Carter, WR Deuce Petty, DL Chayce Smith, DB Antwon Jackson, PK Daniel Barber.
Worth noting: Lane stepped into the starter’s role and has thrown for 2,381 yards and 29 touchdowns, with only four interceptions. Perry picked up the slack when 1,000-yard rusher Malcolm Brown went down with a knee injury, and has run for 1,208 yards and 22 touchdowns. Perry is also second on the team with 111 tackles. Walker had 60 catches for 1,154 yards and 13 touchdowns and is a leader in the secondary. Carter is the heart of the defense; he has 130 tackles, nine sacks and 27 hurries. Five-star prospect Beasley doesn’t have the stats, partially because teams run away from him. … This is the fifth straight season that the Demons have played for the state championship.
No. 4 Calhoun Yellow Jackets
Record/Region finish: 12-2, Region 7 runner-up
Coach: Clay Stephenson
How they got there: d. Decatur 35-21, d. Ware County 49-42, d. Clarke Central 31-7, d. Blessed Trinity 24-7.
Top players: WR Cole Speer, QB Christian Lewis, RB Caden Williams, DB/RB Gage Leonard, RB Caden Williams, WR Quin Smith, TE Emaree Winston, OL Kendrick Kirby, OL Jace Warren, ILB Christopher Lewis, LB Mason Green, LB Blaze Hammett.
Worth noting: Christian Lewis is a savvy, experienced quarterback who rarely makes the wrong decision. He’s an accurate passer who has some great targets in Speer (Georgia commitment) and Smith and outstanding runners in Williams and Leonard, who plays both ways. The lines of scrimmage have good size and mobility. The defense is a hard-nosed group led by Leonard and Christopher Lewis. … Calhoun is looking for its first state championship since 2017.
Series: First meeting.