Class A blog: Prince Avenue, Bowdon make the most of finals appearances

Credit: Daniel Varnado/For the AJC

Credit: Daniel Varnado/For the AJC

Prince Avenue Christian and Bowdon finished with victories in the championship games of Division I and II, respectively, as the Class A season came to an end Thursday at Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta.

Prince Avenue’s 52-34 victory against Swainsboro in the Division I championship game capped a flawless 14-0 season and marked the team’s second championship after winning the Class A Private title in 2020.

Quarterback Aaron Philo, who was 22-for-32 passing for 477 yards and six touchdowns, dominated. He passed to Josh Britt six times for 201 yards, to Bailey Stockton nine times for 145 yards and two touchdowns and to Ethan Christian five times for 108 yards and a touchdown.

Bowdon’s 39-31 victory over Schley County brought the program its third title after winning championships in 1971 and 1992. The Red Devils last played in a championship game in 2001 but had not been deeper than a quarterfinals appearance since 2013.

Schley was trying for the team’s first state title in its first-ever championship game for a school that’s been playing football for 23 years. Schley’s best finish had been an exit in the 2018 Class A quarterfinals. The team lost in the second round of the playoffs in 2007, 2008, 2017, 2018 and last season.

T.J. Harvison had 29 carries for 212 yards and a 30-yard touchdown run to lead Bowdon. Quarterback Robert McNeal scored on runs of 28 and 10 yards and completed touchdown passes to Jordan Beasley (13 yards) and Asher Christopher (33 yards).

Final rankings

Class A Division I

1. (1) Prince Avenue Christian (14-0)

2. (2) Swainsboro (13-1)

3. (4) Irwin County (11-2)

4. (3) Rabun County (12-1)

5. (8) St. Francis (10-4)

6. (9) Metter (9-4)

7. (NR) Mount Pisgah Christian (9-4)

8. (10) Bleckley County (10-3)

9. (5) Brooks County (7-3)

10. (7) Elbert County (10-2)

Out: No. 6 Darlington

Class A Division II

1. (1) Bowdon (13-1)

2. (5) Schley County (12-3)

3. (2) Johnson County (13-1)

4. (3) Early County (9-4)

5. (6) Clinch County (10-3)

6. (7) McIntosh County Academy (10-2)

7. (8) Lincoln County (10-3)

8. (10) Wilcox County (9-4)

9. (4) Charlton County (8-3)

10. (NR) Dooly County (7-6)

Out: No. 9 Manchester