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.