Class A Blog: Finals previews

Trinity Christian and Prince Avenue Christian will square off at 5 p.m. today at Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium for the private title, while Irwin County and Brooks County will battle at 8 p.m. for the public championship. Here’s a look at both matchups.


R4 No. 1 Trinity Christian vs. R8 No. 1 Prince Avenue Christian (Thursday, 5 PM)

This is a rematch of last year’s title game, won by Prince Avenue, 41-21, the only previous meeting between the two schools. Trinity (13-0) is trying to win the 11-year-old program’s first state title in football. The Lions joined the GHSA in 2018 and are the two-time Region 4 champions. After a first-round bye, they advanced to the finals with wins over Athens Christian (48-14), Darlington (56-7), and Eagle Landing Christian Academy in last week’s semifinals, 48-45 in overtime. Senior QB David Dallas threw a 12-yard TD pass to Aaron Gates on a busted play in the second overtime after ELCA kicked a field goal. The game featured 13 ties or lead changes, and Trinity never led until scoring in the first overtime. ELCA matched that touchdown, then kicked a field goal, but Gates’ touchdown ended it. Dallas was 27-of-34 passing for 334 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns.

Prince Avenue is 13-1, the same record the Wolverines finished with last season when they won the school’s first state title in football. Prince Avenue advanced to the finals by defeating King’s Ridge Christian (forfeit), Brookstone (52-0), First Presbyterian Day (41-22) and Fellowship Christian, 38-28 in the semifinals. Sophomore QB Aaron Philo was 25-of-33 passing for 385 yards and two touchdowns, both to Elijah Dewitt. Their second TD connection covered 59 yards and gave Prince Avenue a 35-21 early in the fourth quarter. Dewitt had five receptions for 146 yards and scored on a 4-yard run. Philo rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown.


R2 No. 1 Irwin County vs. R2 No. 2 Brooks County

Irwin County (12-2) is trying to become the first public school to win three consecutive Class A titles since Lincoln County (1985 - 1987). Irwin defeated Brooks County (11-2) in last year’s finals, 27-19. Irwin advanced to its third straight championship game by beating Johnson County (35-7), Lincoln County (51-27), Macon County (28-15) and Wilcox County, 45-14, in last week’s semifinals. Irwin scored three third-quarter touchdowns to take a 45-7 lead. Damarkus Lundy rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, and Cody Soliday was 4-of-6 passing for 105 yards and three touchdowns, one to Lundy. Irwin County held Wilcox to 206 total yards and forced three lost fumbles.

Brooks County’s only two losses this season have been to Irwin, 21-13, back on September 24, and to Class 2A finalist Thomasville, 42-34, in the season opener on August 20. The Trojans (11-2) advanced to the finals with wins over Montgomery County (49-13), Washington-Wilkes (61-28), Warren County (51-30), and Metter, 49-7, in the semifinals. Brooks County took a 28-0 first-quarter lead and cruised. Omari Arnold rushed for 153 yards (surpassing 2,000 for the season, 6,000 in his career) and three touchdowns on 11 carries. Jamal Sanders was 8-of-9 passing for 181 yards and two touchdowns, both to Willie Brown. This is the Trojans’ third consecutive trip to the finals. Prior to losing to Irwin last season, Brooks fell in the 2019 Class 2A championship game to Dublin, 42-32.