Marietta to play in Las Vegas as part of GEICO Bowl Series

Marietta quarterback Harrison Bailey attempts a pass in the first half against Lowndes during the Class AAAAAAA football championship game Saturday at Georgia State Stadium. Bailey will suit up for the Blue Devils one more time this week in Las Vegas. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

Marietta won a state championship on Saturday, but the Blue Devils' season isn't over.

The newly crowned Class AAAAAAA champions will be playing on Friday or Saturday in Las Vegas against Eastside Catholic of Sammamish, Wash., in a game televised by ESPNU. The start time hasn’t been set.

The game is part of the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series and also features a matchup between St. Louis High of Hawaii and St. Thomas Aquinas of Florida. One game will be Friday at 8 p.m., the other Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Eastside Catholic won Washington’s Class AAA championship on Dec. 7.

Georgia state champions have played in the event twice. In 2018, Lee County played St. Frances Academy of Baltimore at home and lost 43-14. In 2016, the event’s inaugural year, Valdosta lost to Chandler of Arizona 44-24 in Texas.

The only high school associations that allow their teams to play beyond their state championships are the AIA (Arizona), FHSAA (Florida), GHSA (Georgia), NIAA (Nevada), UHSAA (Utah) and WIAA (Washington).

The GHSA changed its rule in 2015 when Wheeler’s boys basketball team initially was  denied a chance to play in a national basketball tournament in New York. Under pressure from the legislature, the GHSA changed its bylaws.

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