Ballard Bruins Win 39th Kingdom Of The Sun Tournament

Ballard defeated Deerfield Beach 72-67 to win the 39th Kingdom of the Sun Tournament in Ocala, Florida at Vanguard High School. Lavone Holland led all scorers with 27 points while Quentin Snyder tossed in 19 and Tournament MVP Kelan Martin had 17 points for the Bruins. Ballard also defeated American Heritage (FL), Morgan County (GA), West Gadsden (FL) during the four-day tournament. Their largest margin of victory was 40 points in a 75-35 win over tournament Cinderella West Gadsden in the semifinals.

“We had a lot of guys step up while we were here. Tonight we got a big contribution from Lavone Holland, he’s been sick but he’s getting healthy again and getting back in shape and he was big for us. Obviously Kelan Martin had a huge tournament and can do a lot of things, then we have Quentin Snyder, a Louisville commit, along with some really good role players”, Ballard Head Coach Chris Renner said afterwards.

Ballard (Louisville, KY) Bruins won the 2012 Kingdom Of The Sun Tournament
Ballard (Louisville, KY) Bruins won the 2012 Kingdom Of The Sun Tournament

Ballard averages 74.5 points per game over their four tournament games and scored a tournament high 85 points in their opener against American Heritage.

“This tournament is one of the top tournaments in the country. It has been around along time and it always provides top competition . We come down here for a lot of reasons, the competition and it gives our team an opportunity to bond and get better over the winter break”, Ballard Head Coach Chris Renner said.

Kelan Martin Of Ballard is presented with the Tournament MVP trophy
Kelan Martin of Ballard is presented with the Tournament MVP trophy

Kelan Martin averaged 21.2 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 55% from the field and that performance earned him Tournament MVP honors. Lavone Holland averaged 14.5 points (27 in the championship game) while shooting 54% and Quentin Snyder averaged 13.2 points during the tournament for Ballard.

“We are excited to get back home get a little time of, but were going to Orlando and enjoy some time at Universal Studios but in general were going to take sometime off during the new year and then prepare for our Kentucky and Louisville competition and try and put ourselves in a position to win a regional and state championship”, Renner added.

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Morgan County In Florida Kingdom Of The Sun Basketball Tournament

The Morgan County Bulldogs boys basketball team has taken their act south of the Georgia border to the Kingdom of The Sun basketball tournament hosted by Vanguard High School in Ocala, Florida.

Entering the tournament Morgan County was 6-2 on the young season with their only two losses coming to Berkmar in overtime and Greater Atlanta Christian.

The Bulldogs first opponent was Dr. Phillips (Orlando) in the first round. Morgan County advanced in the winners bracket after a 58-54 win. CJ Turman led Morgan County with 22 points while Tookie Brown scored 20 in the win. The Bulldogs used a 22 point second quarter to lead 32-30 at the half. Then the Bulldogs outscored Dr. Phillips 26-24 in the second half, only allowing eight points in the third quarter, to earn the win. RaShawn Powell led Dr. Phillips with 24 point and was 10-16 from the foul line.

“We’ve had a great visit so far and the competition has been outstanding and we are just really excited and honored to be able to participate in this tournament”, Morgan County Head Coach Charlemagne Gibbons said.

In the quarterfinals Morgan County went up against Ballard (Louisville, KY), who led Morgan County 27-23 at halftime after throwing what seemed like five alley oops in the first half. In the third quarter Ballard increased their lead with scoring in the post and on the perimeter and increased their lead to 12 at one point and led 49-39 at the end of the third quarter. Kalan Martin scored 13 of his team high 21 points in the third quarter for Ballard. Throughout the fourth quarter Ballard kept their lead between five and nine points and advanced to the semifinals with a 64-57 win.

Morgan County's Tookie Brown (No.4) attempts a free throw against Ballard (Louisville)
Morgan County’s Tookie Brown (No.4) attempts a free throw against Ballard (Louisville)

Mike William and Tookie Brown both finished with 12 points to lead Morgan County in scoring while CJ Turman finished with 10 points.

“We played a great opponent tonight. We didn’t make some of the open looks that we had especially in the third quarter. We just didn’t convert enough of the opportunities we had and they did, they made a couple of big time shots down the stretch”, Morgan County Head Coach Charlemagne Gibbons said.

No.1 CJ Turman of Morgan County battles a Ballard (Louisville) player in the low post
No.1 CJ Turman of Morgan County battles a Ballard (Louisville) player in the low post

“We come to these tournaments because we feel we have a state championship caliber basketball team so you want to be pushed every night so that is why we come to events like this to try to get better. I feel better about my guys after this game than I did before this game because they showed a lot of fight to get back in the game and make it a war and that is what we want to do every night out and think that was step in the right direction and we just have to be ready to play tomorrow night”, Gibbons added.

Morgan County will play Vanguard in the losers bracket Friday evening. Ballard (KY) will play West Gadsen  in the semifinals. In the other semifinal Deerfield Beach will play LaSalle (Cincinnati).

Adam Taylor Powers Katy To Texas 5A-Division II State Championship

Katy entered the game outscoring opponents 794-182 and sitting highly in several national polls while Cedar Hill overcame a 1-3 start to make it to the finals for the first time since 2006. Katy’s explosive offense averaged 449 yards per game (342 on the ground) while only giving up 209 yards per  game.

For Katy it was all about running back Adam Taylor who was named the games Offensive MVP. Taylor rushed for 275 yards and five touchdowns in the championship game. Cedar Hill was leading 24-21 in the fourth quarter and Katy was facing fourth down and short when Taylor ripped off his longest touchdown run on a toss sweep going 56 yards to give Katy the lead back 28-24.

Taylor was not done after the defense intercepted Cedar Hill quarterback Damion Hobbs, Taylor raced 42 yards for the exclamation point touchdown to seal Katy’s 35-24 victory. Taylor finished the season with 2,755 yards rushing and 44 touchdowns which are both school records.

Cedar Hill got on the scoreboard first after their defense forced Katy to attempt a field goal in which Katy would have a bad snap giving Cedar Hill the ball on their own 17. Cedar Hill would get a 36-yard field goal by Brooks Ralph for a 3-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff Cedar Hill attempted to recover an onside kick but was unsuccessful.

Katy opened their drive in the first quarter but ended it in the early moments of the second quarter on an Adam Taylor 1-yard touchdown run for a 7-3 lead. Katy was held scoreless in the first quarter for only the third time this season.

Cedar Hill would again pull out the dice facing fourth down on their own 35 but were hit for a 6 yard loss giving Katy the ball on the Cedar Hill 26. Adam Taylor would do the rest taking it in from 17 yards for a 14-3 Katy lead with 3:51 remaining in the half.

Cedar Hill would come right back when Damion Hobbs hit  Laquvionte Gonzalez on a 64-yard screen pass to the Katy 6 to put them back in business. After a three yard loss Hobbs found Brandon Harris in the end one for a 9-yard touchdown pass to pull Cedar Hill to within four at 14-10. On the ensuing kickoff Katy failed to get on the ball and Cedar Hill recovered it at the Katy 26 but missed a 37-yard field goal and the teams went to halftime with Katy leading 14-10.

In the third Katy put together their most impressive drive going 96 yards, with 86 of them coming on the ground capping it with another Adam Taylor touchdown run covering the final 10 yards of the drive and Katy lead 21-10 with 4:28 left in the quarter.

Cedar Hill (11-5) would not roll over as Hobbs found the end one on a 20-yard run to make the score 21-16 after a failed two-point conversion with 11:54 left in the fourth. Cedar Hill converted a big fourth down to keep the drive alive. Cedar Hill’s defense would get the ball back for their offense with 10:19 remaining and the Longhorns went right to work when Hobbs hit Gonzalez on another long screen pass down to the Katy 6 however there was a penalty that brought the ball back to the Katy 26. It would not faze Hobbs as a few plays later he found Brandon Harris down the middle for a 21-yard touchdown pass to give Cedar Hill their first lead since early in the game at 24-21 with 9:22 left in the game. It marked the first time all season Katy trailed in the second half.

From there it was the closing of the Adam Taylor show as his final two touchdown runs sealed the seventh state championship and first since 2008 for the Katy Tigers (16-0).

 

Norcross Wins First State Title In Thriller Over Lovejoy

The Georgia Class 6A championship game lived up to all of the billing even if there were only 35 combined points scored in the game.

After a scoreless first quarter Lovejoy cracked the scoreboard first in the second quarter when Alejandro Bennifield hit Jumichael Ramos on a 60-yard touchdown pass to give Lovejoy the 7-0 lead that would hold until halftime. Lovejoy dominated in the first half out-gaining Norcross 175-67 in total offense.

Lovejoy remained in full control of the football game and they could thank their defense for that as they held Norcross to only 3 points after Norcross has two trips inside the red zone. Lovejoy would grab more of the momentum with 1:34 remaining in the third quarter after a 6-yard touchdown pass from Alejandro Bennifield to Brandon Davis gave them a 14-3 lead following a fumble by Norcross. They would hold that lead until the 7:17 mark of the fourth quarter.

“Offensively we were a little frustrated because they did somethings and were able to man us up a little bit more than we thought they were going to be able to and it took us a little bit of time to work the next step and we were able to find the mismatches and got some things done”, Norcross head coach Keith Maloof said afterwards

Once Norcross found those mismatches it would all change as Norcross put together a rally that will go down in the school’s history forever as that scored 18 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and won them their first-ever state championship in football capping a perfect 15-0 season.

Following a Lovejoy punt, Norcross  marched 62 yards in 4 plays capping it with a Joseph Wilber touchdown pass to Myles Autry from 11-yards out to trim the Lovejoy lead to 14-9 after a failed two-point conversation with 7:17 left. Autry was slowed by a left knee injury and had been used only in spots in the first three quarters but was seemingly full throttle in the fourth quarter finishing with two big receptions for 21 yards and that touchdown all coming in the fourth quarter.  Autry’s presence alone seemed to infuse life into Norcross.

“Man Myles, he’s a great player, him being in the game is an extra person they have to account for. With him scoring that touchdown it gave us a real big boost, it was one of the key components that helped us pull out this victory”, Norcross running back Alvin Kamara said.

Norcross’ defense stood tall and gave the offense a shot by forcing Lovejoy to punt again. They would reward that defensive effort as Joseph Wilber hit Alvin Kamara on third-down and long for a 61-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline giving Norcross their first lead of the game 15-14 after another failed two-point conversion with 4:25 remaining in the contest.

Norcross’ defense would rise again in the biggest of moments stopping Lovejoy’s Travis Custis on fourth down at the Lovejoy 31. Custis finished with only 61 yards on 20 carries and did not score a touchdown. Alejandro Bennifield finished 11-26 180 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions.

“At halftime the defense, they were jacked up, they were ready to come out and play. It was not like they were coming out feeling sorry for themselves”,  Keith Maloff stated

Kamara would do the rest scoring on a 10-yard touchdown run to cap a 5-play 31-yard drive in which Kamara carried the ball all  five times. Kamara however was flagged for excessive celebration, Lovejoy took the penalty on the extra-point which Norcross missed and it was 21-14 Norcross with 1:33 remaining in the fourth.

“We got down and my team does not give up. These coaches would not allow us to give up. Some of my teammates had their heads down a little bit and I kind of hyped them back up reminding them it was not over, this is what we do, we are warriors this is what we preach all week and all year we’ve been preaching it and so we kept fighting “,  Kamara said afterwards.

Brandon Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 47 yards to the Norcross 47 and the Wildcats had 78 seconds to save what had been a fourth quarter to forget. They would not save it as four plays later the Norcross defense made another big play as Jaquan Frazier intercepted Bennifield’s pass at the Norcross 25 sealing the victory and state title for the Norcross Blue Devils.

“I didn’t have any doubt, I just needed my teammates behind me, my coaches and my community and we got it done. It was a team effort, you see all these Norcross fans that came out to support us and that is what really did it for us”, Kamara said.

Kamara finished with 35 carries 117 yards and one touchdown rushing, passed for 34 yards and caught two passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.

What about winning Norcross’ first ever state title in football and the ramifications of that, how does that feel we asked Alvin Kamara.

“That is what I set out to do at the beginning of the season,to be different. I talked to my coaches about it, being the first to bring Norcross to the semifinals and first to bring Norcross a state championship”, Kamara said.

So what about the head Coach Kevin Maloof who had never won a state title including a previous stop at Tucker who has won two state titles under former head coach Frankin Stephens in 2008 and 2011?

“They had to learn how to win and once they did it was all about winning region titles and winning state championships. Obviously we wish would have done it a lot earlier but by gosh we’ll take it now because it ain’t no sweeter that how it is right now, I would not trade this for anything else”, Maloof said.

Norcross is ranked highly in several national polls and with some teams ahead of them losing over the past few weeks they have an outside shot at a “national title” in some of these polls.

When asked if he would take his Norcross team up against anybody in the country Maloof said.

“Your darn right, right now I would I sure would. I’d take this team this team over any team in the country”, he said.

Sandy Creek Underclassmen Power Patriots To Third Georgia State Title In Four Years

The Sandy Creek Fighting Patriots came out “fighting” on their opening play of the game when Cole Garvin hit Kyle Wilson for a 44-yard pass play down to the Ridgeland 19. Three plays later Eric Swinney lowered his shoulder and ran right over a Ridgeland defender for a 6-yard touchdown run and Sandy Creek led 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.

“Y’all have watched us this year and that is what were going to do, were going to try and put pressure on the defense at all times and that was the game plan from the get go and our guys did a good job of it”, Sandy Creek Head Coach Chip Walker said.

Ridgeland’s best drive of the first half came late in the first quarter when they moved it 68 yards with the big play being a 33-yard pass play from Darrell Bridges to Vonn Bell but were unable to use it as the drive ended at the Sandy Creek 22 after a failed fourth down.

Sandy Creek went right back to work moving the ball but faced a fourth-down and two at the Ridgeland 32. Delvin Weems got the two yards for the first and on the next play raced 30 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown to cap a 9-play 78-yard drive and give Sandy Creek a 14-0 lead with 9:08 left in the second quarter going 9-plays and 78-yards to score.

Mitchell McMillin kicked a 35-yard field goal to increase Sandy Creek’s lead to 17-0 later in the second quarter.

Later Sandy Creeks stout defense forced Ridgeland to punt and Demarre Kitt showed why he is the athlete he is returning it 54-yards after stumbling several times before finally falling at the Ridgeland 15. Weems tacked on another touchdown run from 11-yards out to give the Patriots a 24-0 lead. They were not done as the defense forced a fumble and recovered it at the Ridgeland 40. On the next play Cole Garvin when long down the right side to Demarre Kitt for a 39-yard completion to the Ridgeland 1. Eric Swinney did the rest taking it in from a yard out and it was 31-0 Sandy Creek with :51 seconds left in the half. Swinney tallied 11 rushes for 65 yards and two touchdowns while Weems racked up 97 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Both are sophomores and will be back at Sandy Creek next season.

In the second half it was more of the same as Sandy Creek struck again when Garvin hit Kyle Wilson on a 37-yard touchdown pass to signify that Sandy Creek was in control and would not be denied, they led 38-0 with 5:52 left in the third quarter. Garvin finished with 240 yards passing on 13-18. Garvin, a junior, will be back at Sandy Creek next season.

Ridgeland added a field goal from 29-yards at the end of an 8-play 73-yard drive late in the third quarter but it was not enough for the mercy rule of a running clock to go into effect in the 4th quarter with Sandy Creek leading 38-3.

Sandy Creek backups would get their moment in the light and cashed it in when Trey Walker, son of head coach Chip Walker, capped an 8-play 80-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass in the left corner to Justin Sumpter for a 45-3 lead in the fourth.

“We were in a situation where he could throw one and Justin [Sumpter] made a great play in the end zone to help him out and I was estastic about that”, the elder Walker said with a big smile.

Ridgeland’s highly touted running back/cornerback Vonn Bell caught a 38-yard touchdown from Bridges on a halfback pass to give Ridgeland their only touchdown of the game at the end of a 10-play 76-yard drive with 2:52 left in the game. Darrell Bridges, a running back was 2-3 passing for 71 yards and a touchdown with both completions to Bell. Ridgeland quarterback Trevor Long was 0-4 passing on the evening. Ridgeland’s three long drives of 68, 73 and 76 yards accounted for 217 of their 268 yards of total offense in the game with 197 of those yards on the ground.

“If we could stop them and get the ball back and score it would take them out of their game plan and that is what we wanted to do”, Walker said.

Sandy Creek finished 15-0, won their third state title in four seasons and is not nationally ranked in polls despite having a team loaded with solid recruits across the board, producing several current NFL stars and top Division-I level players.

“For us to come back and win again it’s just unbelievable, it’s what we wanted to do”, Walker said. He added, “Our guys know that we have a standard that has been set and that is what we expect them to work to and they do a great job with it”.

Sandy Creek is more than worthy of a national ranking across several polls. The lack of a “big time/national respected” opponent on their schedule, this year and in previous years and playing in Georgia’s Class 4A (Two classes down from the highest classification 6A) hurts them nationally.

Sandy Creek defeated two 6A teams that advanced to the second round of the 6A playoffs in East Coweta and Newnan by a combined 69-14 score during the regular season. Both lost to Region 1-6A opponents in the playoffs, East Coweta to Camden County (a quarterfinalist) and Newnan to Colquitt County (a semifinalist).

Emanuel County Institute Wins Class 1A Public Georgia State Title

Emanuel County Institute from Twin City, GA  won their second state championship and first since 2007 with a 47-7 win over Dooly County behind the rushing of Greg Purcell and James Brown.

“I’m extremely proud of our entire football team, our staff and our community for a great turnout for this venue and we were excited to be here and we work extremely hard and I hope it was evident as you saw today”, ECI head coach Chris Kearson said.

Greg Purcell scored the first two touchdowns for ECI on runs of 2 and 50 yards to get it started for the Bulldogs. Dooly County answered back on a 19-yard touchdown run by Chanin Hamilton to make it 14-7 and that would be as close as the Bobcats would get. ECI put together an 8-play 80-yard drive mainly on the ground on the legs of Greg Purcell and James Brown. Brown capped it with a 26-yard touchdown to give ECI a 20-7 lead with 7:27 left in the second quarter.

ECI opened the flood gates scoring on their first three possessions in the third quarter after forcing Dooly County into two three-and-outs and recovering a muffed kickoff return.  The Bulldogs went 85 yards in 11 plays with Brown and Purcell doing the bulk of the work again before quarterback Caleb Pressey took it in from 3-yards out to give ECI a 28-7 lead after a successful two-point conversion. Pressey, who finished with 58 yards passing, hit Brown for a 53-yard touchdown pass to stretch it to 34-7. On the ensuing kickoff Dooly County muffed it and Kenny Butler recovered it for ECI on the Dooly County 32. Six plays and 32 yards later Greg Purcell was in the end zone again on a 5-yard run with 2:01 left in the third quarter and a 40-7 ECI lead.

Purcell finished with 142 yards rushing and three touchdowns while James Brown rushed for 143 yards a with touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass.

“We knew we were going to have to come out and play hard and they have one of the best D-Tackles out there (referencing Dooly’s Montravious Adams) and we took that as a challenge. We are a one-two punch and you can’t stop both of us”, ECI running back James Brown said

“Those guys are tremendous athletes. James and Greg know that if the offensive line is not humming they are not getting their names called or written in the paper. I can’t say enough about our offensive line they did a tremendous job all season”, Kearson said about his explosive running backs.

The fourth quarter was played with a running clock and ECI tacked on their final score of the game on a 2-yard run by Renaldo Williams for the final 47-7 margin. ECI finished with 393 yards of total offense.

“I’m sure a lot of the attention was on some of the players that Dooly had and I think we kind of flew under the radar. We didn’t take it as a slap in the face because we are a cohesive group”, Kearson added.

That cohesive group won the first-ever Class 1A Public state championship in Georgia.

Gainesville, Buford and Eagles Landing Win Georgia State Championships

The first three Georgia football state champions were crowned today over three of the classifications. New to Georgia this season in class 1A the public and private held separate state championships with the private championship game being held on Friday and the public on Saturday.

In Class 5A Gainesville (12-3) defeated Ware County 49-13 to win the schools first ever state championship. Gainesville put their potent offense on display from the beginning to jump on Ware County 28-0 into the second quarter after two Deshaun Watson touchdown passes and a touchdown run with a Fred Payne scoop and score throw in there . To top it off quarterback Deshaun Watson became the all-time leading passer in Georgia High School football history. Watson put up a banner night overall passing for 318 yards with three touchdown passes and rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown. For his career Watson a junior, has passed for over 9,600 yards with 108 touchdowns and he’s only a junior. Caleb Hayman caught two of Watson’s three touchdown passes while sophomore Rodney Lackey caught the other.

Fred Payne stepped up in a major way for the Gainesville defense. In addition to his fumble recovery for a touchdown he had some major hits and returned and interception 70-yards in the second half to set up another Gainesville touchdown when Watson went in from a yard out to give Gainesville a 35-7 advantage. Running back Michael Byrd also added a touchdown run for the Red Elephants.

Xavier Tolber scored both Ware County touchdowns on a pair of two-yard touchdown runs. Ware County (13-2) had not given up more than 24 points in a game all season yet yielded 28 in the first half and 49 for the game against Gainesville.

In Class 3A the Buford Wolves (12-3) were making their sixth consecutive championship game appearance and first ever in class 3A . The Wolves defeated St. Pius (12-3) 10-3 to win their fifth state championship in six years. Locked in a defensive struggle the Wolves’ leading rusher Dontravious Wilson ran 39-yards for a touchdown on a fourth-down and one with 9:10 remaining in the game to give Buford the 10-3 advantage. It was the third Buford touchdown in consecutive weeks coming on a fourth-down and this won would ultimately win the game for the Wolves. Both teams were held under 200 yards of total offense with Buford getting the slight edge 186 to 180.

In Class 1A Private Eagles Landing Christian Academy (13-1) broke open a 7-0 game at halftime into a 33-0 rout over Prince Avenue Christian School (11-3). Eagles Landing standout running back Keyante Green rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns for the Chargers. DJ Curl, Brad Moore and Dalton Etheridge also added touchdown runs for Eagles Landing who racked up 328 total yards of offense in the game. Eagles Landing’s defense held Prince Avenue’s Wing-T offense to only 134 yards of total offense. Eagles Landing goes down as the first-ever private school champion in the state of Georgia. Prince Avenue started playing football in 2006 and made their first-ever appearance is a state championship game.

The Georgia High School football championships resume on Saturday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA with the 1A-Public, 2A, 4A and 6A titles begin decided. The action starts at 11:30am EST with the 1A Public game between Dooly County and ECI. Jefferson vs Calhoun follow in the 2A game followed by the 4A game between Sandy Creek and Ridgeland with the 6A game between Lovejoy and Norcross in the nightcap.

GDFL Owners Meeting Dates Released

The GDFL, which stands for Gridiron Developmental Football League has announced the dates for their 2013 owners meetings which will be held in January of 2013.

The Impact Conference owners meeting will be held on January 12th in Memphis, TN and the Xtreme Conference owners meetings will be held on January 26th in Richmond, VA.

GDFLLogo

The GDFL is  entering its fourth season and is a football league that spans the United States and Canada with upwards of over 90 teams. The landscape of minor league football is an ever-changing and difficult landscape to follow however the GDFL has continued to push forward through the years with many challenges yet still reaching attainable goals.

“Out theme this upcoming season is to leave “no doubt” about the GDFL being the top league in the nation as far as pro development is concerned. We want to set the standard that others are measured by. We want teams and franchises to understand this is not just a league but they are apart of building a legacy”, said GDFL commissioner Charles Thompson .

The previous GDFL champions are the Carolina Warriors (now known as the South Carolina Venom) in 2010, Chambersburg Cardinals in 2011 and the Central Penn Piranha in 2012. Memphis, TN, Atlanta, GA and Chambersburg, PA have hosted the previous three GDFL championship games.

“Our focus this year is solely on pro development and building a solid foundation within our organizations including all aspects from business to on the field performance”, Thompson stated.

The 2013 GDFL regular season will begin the weekend of May 4th 2013.

Total Sports Coverage will have updates from the GDFL League office from these owners meetings as they are made available.

DeSoto Wins Thriller In Texas 5A-D1 Quarterfinals Over Southlake Carroll

The DeSoto Eagles defense came up big when they needed it most. Southlake Carroll was sitting on the Desoto 3-yard line trailing by four points and had 12 seconds left and ran three plays but were stopped short of the goal line each time by the Desoto defense to preserve the 49-45 victory to advance to the semifinal against Allen. Allen defeated Skyline  37-17 to advance.

Despite getting on the broad first, DeSoto had to come from  behind before their defense made the great goal line stand. Desoto led 6-0 after a 61-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter by Desmond White.

Southlake Carroll would score 24 unanswered points behind three short Kenny Hill touchdown runs with a Drew Brown 43-yard field goal tossed in there as well and the Dragons led 24-6 midway through the second quarter.

DeSoto would come back and gain some momentum scoring touchdowns on their final two possessions of the first half on an 18-yard run by Desmond White and a 4-yard run by Sparks-Brown and after a successful two-point conversion it was 24-21 Southlake Carroll at halftime.

The third quarter would continue the back and forth affair as Southlake Carroll and Desoto traded touchdowns to open the quarter. Kenny Hill rushed in from 3-yards for Southlake Carroll and Desmond White tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Rickey Daniels to cap a 9-play 75-yard drive yet Southlake still led 31-28.  Kenny Hill would throw his only touchdown of the game hitting Mike Gardner on a 30-yard strike to push Southlake Carroll back out to a ten point lead at 38-28.

DeSoto would reinsert standout running back Dontre Wilson, Wilson left in the first half with an ankle injury, and he would pay off in a major way racing 28 yards for a touchdown showing the ankle was not going to slow him and Desoto was again back within three points trailing 38-35. Kenny Hill added his fifth rushing touchdown going in from 6-yards out after the defense returned an interception down to the DeSoto 6 and Southlake Carroll led 45-35. Following that score DeSoto’s  White found Wilson on a 76-yard touchdown pass and that three-point spread was still there at 45-42

Controversy ensued a few possessions later after a Southlake Carroll punt. Following the punt Dontre Wilson was hit and appeared to fumble with Southlake Carroll recovering it and returning it to the Desoto 23 yard line however the play was ruled incomplete. Desoto would cash in on the break and score on a  13-yard pass from White to Daniels and took their first lead since first quarter, 49-45.

Southlake Carroll would hold DeSoto on fourth down and had 71 yards to go with 2:04 remaining in the game but fell half a yard short at the goal line when Desoto’s defense made the stop.

DeSoto and Allen will play at 6pm CST at Ford Stadium on the campus of SMU.

State Finals Set In Georgia Class 6A

Since the end of last season, through mat drills, spring practices, summer passing camps and hot summer practices the goal of a high school football team is to win the state championship. The final two teams are left for a chance to accomplish that feat. The Georgia High School Association state championship game in class 6A (AAAAAA) is set. Here are the teams that will play and what they did in their semifinal games to advance.

Semifinal: Colquitt County at Norcross

Coming off their first ever trip to the semifinals the Norcross will make their first ever appearance in the state championship game after a 41-27 win over Colquitt County. Norcross never trailed in the game and scored the most points against Colquitt County this season. Norcross’ standout running back Alvin Kamara again put on a show in front of several college coaches in attendance rushing for 135 yards and touchdown. Kamara also caught a 65-yard touchdown pass on the night. Norcross jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and never gave Colquitt County a chance to stay in the ballgame. Norcross quarterback Joseph Wilbur passed for over 200 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown as well.

Colquitt County’s points were scored on a John Boatwright touchdown run, a Daniel Mobley to Bobby Hill touchdown pass and cosmetic touchdown pass late in the game from Cole Seagraves to Todd Boyd. Will Bannister kicked two field goals for the Packers.

Norcross improves to 14-0 and is the only undefeated team in Georgia’s highest classification and will face Lovejoy for the state championship next Saturday night.

Semifinal: North Cobb at Lovejoy

Lovejoy advances to the state championship game in their first season in the highest classification (6A) in Georgia with a 63-42 win over North Cobb. Overall it will be the Wildcats second consecutive state championship game in as many seasons (they lost to Tucker in the 2011 Class 4A title game). North Cobb jumped out to a 21-7 lead in the second quarter before Lovejoy would wake up. When the Wildcats did they roared and loud at that behind the running of Travis Custis and the play of their scoring defense. Custus would rip of a 63-yard touchdown run and Alejandro Bennefield would toss a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jumichael Ramos to pull the score even at 21 late in the quarter. The the Lovejoy defense went to work as Brandon Davis returned an interception 80-yards for a touchdown in the waning seconds of the first half to give Lovejoy the 28-21 halftime lead.

After the intermission the Lovejoy defense didn’t take long to score again when Montrell Custis returned and interception 50-yards for a touchdown on North Cobb’s opening possession of the half to cap 28 unanswered points by the Wildcats and give them the 35-21 lead. Lovejoy picked off North Cobb quarterback Tyler Queen four times in the game.

Nick Miller would get North Cobb right back into the game returning the ensuing kickoff 65 yards to give the Warriors excellent field position at the Lovejoy 25. From there Miller would catch a 26-yard touchdown pass to pull North Cobb within seven at 35-28.

Lovejoy was not phased and promptly ripped off 21 straight points when Bennefield hit Brandon Davis for a 40-yard touchdown pass and Travis Custis ripped off two more touchdown runs of 28 and 24 yards to give Lovejoy the commanding 56-28 lead.

North Cobb would get another touchdown from running back J’Vonte Herrod but it would be answered right back by another Travis Custis touchdown run from 23-yards out. On the night Travis Custis rushed for 293 yards in 28 carries and scored five touchdowns.

Xavier Borishade returned the final Lovejoy kickoff 82-yards for a touchdown for the games final margin.

Norcross and Lovejoy will play Saturday December 15th at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Kickoff scheduled for 8:30pm EST.