Cedar Grove and Carver of Atlanta were locked in a tight contest before lightning sent the teams to the locker room with 8:05 remaining in the third quarter of the Class 3A final Saturday at Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium.

When the teams returned to the field a little more than an hour later, Cedar Grove took over the game. The Saints scored three touchdowns in a span of about eight minutes and went on to defeat Carver 56-26 to earn its fourth state championship in six seasons.

Fifth-ranked Cedar Grove (12-3) became the first school from DeKalb County to win four state titles in football, breaking a tie with Avondale, Lakeside and Marist.

No. 8 Carver, which lost to Cedar Grove 17-0 on Sept. 24 and finished in a three-way tie with the Saints and Sandy Creek for first place in Region 3-5A, finished the season 11-3. The Panthers were trying to become the first Atlanta city school to win a state title since Southwest Atlanta in 1973.

Carver was trailing 21-14 and had the ball first-and-10 at Cedar Grove 22 when play resumed. On the first play, the Panthers fumbled and Cedar Grove’s Quinterio Lawson recovered at the 19. Five plays later, Jamar Graham threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Trevon Ferrell for a 28-14 lead with 5:29 to play in the quarter. Carver never got within 14 points the rest of the way.

The touchdown pass was one of five thrown by Grant, who completed 23 of 34 attempts for a season-high 362 yards. He became the second quarterback in state history to throw five touchdown passes in a championship game, tying the record set by Valdosta’s Stan Bounds in 1971.

“Jamar Graham, I’m just really pleased for him,” first-year Cedar Grove John Adams said. “The last two games he’s been awesome. He’s been throwing the deep ball really well. He’s just led this team and led this offense really well for us.”

The Saints also scored on their next two possessions on short runs by Rashod Dubinion to lead 42-20 with 10:07 remaining in the game. Dubinion finished with 110 yards rushing on 20 carries. He moved into 19th place on the DeKalb County rushing list with 3,203 career yards.

“I tell you, that delay … we came out and got a turnover, we caused a fumble and the offense came out and did a really good job,” Adams said. “I don’t know. I just know that these guys really came together and decided they wanted to win this game and did whatever it took.”

Cedar Grove trailed 14-7 with 7:09 remaining in the first half when it drove 50 yards in about two minutes and tied the score on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Graham to a wide-open Janiran Bonner.

Carver took over at its 39 following the ensuing kickoff and drove to the Cedar Grove 10. On fourth-and-5, the Panthers attempted a 27-yard field, which missed wide to the left. On the next play, Graham teamed up again with Bonner, this time for 80 yards and a 21-14 lead with 1:40 left in the half.

Bonner had eight receptions for 150 yards, giving him 1,886 for his career, 14th in DeKalb history.

Bryce Bowens gave Carver a 6-0 lead with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Deandre Buchannon on the Panthers’ first possession of the game. After Cedar Grove answered with Graham’s first touchdown pass, a 30-yarder to Barry Jackson, Carver reclaimed the lead at 14-7 on a 1-yard run by Quintavious Lockett.

Carver finished with 459 yards of offense, led by the running game of Lockett (13 carries, 116 yards), Jarveous Brown (13-73) and Bowens (9-42). Bowens was 16-of-26 passing for 188 yards, and Buchannon had six catches for 82 yards.

The weather delay only contributed to what was already going to be a long game. The teams combined for 12 touchdowns, 973 yards of total offense (514 by Cedar Grove) and 30 penalties for 224 yards. The game kicked off at noon and did not finish until 4:25 p.m.

Cedar Grove - 0-21-14-21 - 56

Carver-Atlanta - 6-8-6-6 - 26

First quarter

CA - Deandre Buchannon 21 pass from Bryce Bowens (run failed), 8:32

Second quarter

CG - Barry Jackson 30 pass from Jamar Graham (Amari Forte kick), 11:45

CA - Quintavious Lockett 1 run (Bowens run), 10:20

CG - Janiran Bonner 6 pass from Graham (Forte kick), 4:52

CG - Bonner 80 pass from Graham (Forte kick), 1:40

Third quarter

CG - Trevon Ferrell 40 pass from Graham (Forte kick), 5:29

CG - Rashod Dubinion 5 run (Forte kick), 3:42

CA - Jarveous Brown 2 run (run failed), 1:23

Fourth quarter

CG - Dubinion 1 run (Forte kick), 10:07

CA - Lockett 26 run (pass failed), 8:54

CG - Ricky Lee 13 pass from Graham (Forte kick), 3:50

CG - Robert Snell 13 run (Forte kick), 1:57