Class A Blog: Semifinals recap

The finals are set. Undefeated Trinity Christian (13-0) will take on defending champion Prince Avenue Christian (13-1) for the private championship while defending public champ Irwin County (12-2) will face Brooks County (11-2).

Here’s a look at the semifinals.


Left Bracket

R4 No. 1 Trinity Christian 48, R2 No. 1 Eagle’s Landing Christian 45 (OT)

No. 1 ranked Trinity Christian and ELCA were tied on six separate occasions until double overtime when quarterback David Dallas found Aaron Gates for the game-winning touchdown after ELCA settled for a field goal in its double-overtime possession. ELCA took a 7-0 into the second quarter after a 1-yard quarterback keeper by Charlie Gilliam. Dallas found Bryce Wilcox on a 10-yard touchdown pass and the teams traded touchdowns to go into the half tied 14-14. ELCA grabbed a 21-14 lead early in the third quarter and Dallas tied it up 21-21 with a 1-yard rushing score. The Chargers regained the lead with Brandon Hood’s 96-yard touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff, but Dallas answered with a touchdown pass to Gates late in the third quarter to make it 28-28. Gilliam broke loose for a 31-yard Chargers touchdown with just 1:31 left in the game to put ELCA up 35-28 and there was a personal foul applied on the ensuing kickoff that gave Trinity Christian favorable field position. Eventually, Dallas hit Bryce Wilcox for a 40-yard touchdown with 31.2 left and forced overtime 35-35.

Right Bracket

R8 No. 1 Prince Avenue Christian 38, R6 No. 1 Fellowship Christian 28

The Wolverines advanced to the finals for a chance at the program’s second-consecutive state title with their win over Fellowship Christian. Prince Avenue was quick to go up 14-0 in the first off a rushing touchdown from Mac Bradley and a 32-yard passing touchdown from Aaron Philo to Elijah Dewitt. Fellowship then capitalized off a muffed punt and put seven points on the board, and tied the game in the second when Nick Persiano rushed nine yards into the end zone. The Wolverines retook the lead before the half with a 4-yard touchdown rush from Dewitt. Philo then added a rushing touchdown in the third before Fellowship made it a 28-21 game heading into the fourth. On the second play of the quarter, Philo connected with Dewitt for a 59-yard touchdown to put the Wolverines out of reach of the Paladins. Prince Avenue now awaits Trinity Christian in the finals.


Left Bracket

R2 No. 1 Irwin County 45, R4 No. 1 Wilcox County 14

Irwin County has a chance for a third-straight state championships following a romp of Wilcox County in the semifinals. Demarcus Lundy scored two rushing and two receiving touchdowns while finishing with 25 carries for 162 yards and two catches, both for touchdowns. Cody Soliday was 3-of-5 passing for 55 yards and three touchdowns while also scoring on a 10-yard run. Malachi Hadden had one touchdown reception, a 36-yarder. Cooper Yanzetich kicked an 18-yard field goal and was 5-of-6 on point after tries. Eli Roberts caught one 2-point conversion reception.

Right Bracket

R2 No. 2 Brooks County 49, R3 No. 1 Metter 7

No. 2 ranked Brooks County (11-2) served host Metter (13-1) its first loss of the year and will make the program’s third-straight trip to the championship. The Trojans have lost their previous two finals appearances and will faceoff with Irwin County in the title game for the second-straight year. Brooks County’s last state title came in 1994 in head coach Maurice Freeman’s first season. Freeman served as the Trojans’ head coach from 1994-97 and has been back at the helm in his second stint since 2008. Brooks County opened up a 35-0 lead before Metter got on the board with a Josh Kelly touchdown run in the third quarter. The Trojans are averaging 47.9 ppg this season and have scored a school-record 622 points. Running back Omari Arnold ran in the Trojans’ first two touchdowns and Lawrence Holsendolph returned a fumble for a touchdown to push the lead to 21-0. Quarterback Jamal Sanders connected with Ja’Maurion Fountain for another Brooks County touchdown and Kamari Blakhumsee preserved the 28-0 lead with an interception late in the first half. Metter fumbled to open the second half and Sanders capitalized with his second passing touchdown to grow the lead to 35-0. Brooks County previously fell 21-13 to Irwin County on Sept. 24 and went down 27-19 in last year’s finals.