Caden McGatha thew for two touchdowns and ran for four touchdowns, including the game-winner in the third overtime to lift Pierce County to a 48-45 win over Rockmart in the Class 2A championship game.

McGatha was 5-for-8 passing for 131 yards and rushed 53 times for 244 yards to help the No. 4 Bears win their second title in four years under coach Ryan Herring. McGatha joined Troup’s Taeo Todd to become  the second player in state history to run for 2,000 yards and throw for 2,000 yards in the same season. He finished with 2,155 yards rushing and 2,053 yards passing.

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Pierce County (14-1) also got 124 receiving yards and two touchdowns from Carson Sloan, who also led the team with nine tackles and four sacks.

No. 9 Rockmart (12-3) got a great effort from quarterback Calliyon Thompson, who completed 16 of 24 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 15 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Nahzir Turner caught five passes for 64 yards and T. Aners had five receptions for 33 yards and one touchdown. Nate Davis led the Yellow Jackets with 16 tackles and Brent Washington had nine.

The game was tied 14-14 at halftime, with both teams exchanging scores. Pierce scored on runs of 1 and 42 yards from McGatha. Rockmart got a 63-yard touchdown run from Calliyon Thompson and a 6-yard scoring pass from Thompson to T. Anderson.

Pierce added two touchdown throws from McGatha to Sloan, a 66-yarder and a 19-yarder. Rockmart countered with a 62-yard pass from Thompson to J.D. Davis and an 11-yard run by Thompson, which sent the game to overtime tied 28-28.

Both teams scored on their first two possessions in overtime, but the Pierce defense forced Rockmart to use a 28-yard field goal from Jose Alegria. That left the door open for Pierce to win it with a touchdown, which they did on McGatha’s 1-yard run.