Class 4A

Benedictine vs. Cedartown

Benedictine Cadets

Coach: Danny Britt

GPB Ranking, record: No. 4, 12-2. Region 3 champion.

Playoff results: d. Whitewater 34-10, d. Spalding 45-6, d. Stockbridge 34-14, d. Troup 42-21.

Top players: QB Luke Kromenhoek, WR/DB Za'quan Bryan, WR Thomas Blackshear, DL Cole Semien, DB Cody Brinson, DL Third Scroggins, RB Na'seir Samuel, LB Bryce Baker. 

Notable: Kromenhoek, a Florida State commitment, has thrown for 2,495 yards and 24 touchdowns, with just three interceptions. Kromenhoek isn’t a dink-and-dunker; he has a great arm and doesn’t mind throwing deep. Bryan has outstanding speed and is a two-way standout with 56 receptions, 64 tackles and four interceptions. The defense may be the best since the 2016 championship team. Albert has a team-leading 134 tackles – 92 of them solos, and Hardy has 94 stops. Brinson has five picks and one fumble recovery. Scroggins leads the team with 9 ½ sacks and has 86 tackles, 15 ½ for loss. The Cadets have lost only to Florida power Christopher Columbus and Class 5A finalist Ware County during the regular season. They’ve won ten in a row. Benedictine, the defending state champion, will be making its fourth appearance in the final since 2014 and have won three titles.

Cedartown Bulldogs

Coach: Jamie Abrams

GPB Ranking, record: No. 2, 14-0. Region 7 champion.

Playoff results: d. Cedar Shoals 49-0, d. Stephenson 48-16, d. Bainbridge 26-21, d. North Oconee 28-20.

Top players: LB Eli Barrow, OL Peyton Nikolopoulus, QB Reece Tanner, RB/DB Harlem Diamond, DL Patrick Gardner, RB/OLB Xavier Hargrove, DB Demarcus Gardner.

Notable: They still play old-school football at Cedartown, where the ground game and a physical defense have been the key to the program’s long-term success. The Bulldogs average 315 yards per game on the ground and have four players with at least 500 rushing yards, led by Harlem Diamond (1,218 yards, 21 TDs) and P Gardner (912 yards, 15 TDs). The defense has shut out four opponents and come up big the last two weeks against Bainbridge and No. 1 North Oconee. Barrow leads the team with 174 tackles, 124 of them solo stops, with 11 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. Sophomore Demarcus Gardner has five interceptions. Cedartown is in the final for the first time since 2001. The Bulldogs won their only title in 1963 under the legendary Doc Ayers.

Series: This is the first meeting between the two teams.