Class 2A blog: Semifinals recap

Region 1 rivals Thomasville, Fitzgerald to meet in Atlanta for championship

Both the Thomasville Bulldogs and Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane played their semifinals matchups as if they were on a mission to meet each other in the championship, posting dominate wins on Friday.

The Bulldogs knocked off the defending champion Callaway Cavaliers, winning 31-6 at home. On the road against the Swainsboro Tigers, the Cane posted a 27-6 win for their most dominant playoff performance yet.

That means the 2A championship, which will be played 12 p.m. Friday at Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium, will be a showdown between the fiercest of South Georgia rivals from Region 1.

The last two matchups between the Cane and Bulldogs have been extremely tight, with the road team winning each time. It’s only fitting that their ultimate showdown be played at a neutral site. Last year, the Cane won 29-28. This year, the Bulldogs won 15-8 on Oct. 22.

In Thomasville, the Bulldogs dominated Callaway from the opening kickoff, which Malik Harper returned 94 yards for a touchdown. It wasn’t until 10:36 remaining, when the Bulldogs led 24-0, that the Cavs scored their first points on a touchdown. After they failed on the 2-point conversion, the Bulldogs immediately responded with a Shannon White 32-yard scoring run, reminding everyone who was in charge of the game.

Now the Bulldogs (13-1) are headed to Atlanta to play in the title game for the first time since 1993, when they reached the 3A final. They’re looking for their championship since winning 3A in 1988.

For game coverage, see stories from the Thomasville Times-Enterprise and The LaGrange Daily News and highlights from WTXL and Immaculate Visuals.

For the Cavs (10-3), their quest to become 2A’s first repeat champions since Buford (2006-2010) ends. It was a remarkable accomplishment to reach the semis given they’d lost all key playmakers from last year’s team. However, they instantly reloaded, and they’re always stocked with next-level talent. They’ll once again be in the championship conversation next year.

The Cavs have reached the semis in four consecutive seasons and five of the last six.

Like Thomasville, the Cane also started fast, staking a 14-0 lead that became 20-6 by the end of the first quarter. The Cane shut out the Tigers the final three quarters and added another touchdown in the fourth.

WTOC has highlights.

The Cane (12-2) are in the championship for a second year in a row, seeking their first title since winning 1A in 1948. Like Callaway, the Cane have made another deep run despite losing key playmakers from last year’s finalists.

For the Tigers (11-3), it was their best finish since winning 3A in 2000. Next year, quarterback Ty Adams will return for his senior season with the hope of leading them on another deep run.

With this being championship week, I’ll post a single blog leading into the title game, which will publish Wednesday, along with a new episode of The Class 2A Blogcast. Then on Friday, I’ll be at Center Parc to cover the 2A championship.

Looking forward to it!

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