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.
Warner Robins beat Calhoun 38-14 to earn the 5A championship. Fred Perry ran for 233 yards and two touchdowns and also led the winners with 10 tackles. In five playoff games, Perry rushed for 926 yards and 16 touchdowns.
The victory gave the No. 4-ranked Demons back-to-back championships for the first time in the history of the storied program.
On Friday, Buford rallied for the third consecutive season, overcoming deficits of 14 points in the first half and six points in the second, and held on to defeat Langston Hughes 21-20 when the Panthers missed a 35-yard field goal on the final play of the Class 6A final.
The victory gave top-ranked Buford (14-1) its 13th state title since 2001 and 14th overall, and Wolves’ Bryant Appling became the first coach in GHSA history to win three state titles in his first three seasons as head coach.
Holden Geriner threw for a personal-best 397 yards and four touchdowns and helped No. 2-ranked Benedictine to a 35-28 win over No. 3 Carver Columbus in the Class 4A championship.
Geriner completed 24 of 30 passes and led the Cadets to their third state title; the others came in 2014 and 2016 in Class 2A. He finished the season with 3,377 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Fitzgerald claimed the Class 2A title with a 21-7 win over the Thomasville.
It was the Purple Hurricane’s second state championship and first since 1948. They were winless in their previous six title games and 0-3 since 2015, including last year’s loss to Callaway.
Fitzgerald (13-2) led 21-0 at halftime. Like all season, the Purple Hurricane asserted themselves on defense and in the run game. Through two quarters, they held Thomasville to nine total yards on three three-and-out possessions while rushing 39 times for 219 yards and three touchdowns — an EJ Lightsey 2-yard run and Dennoris Goodwin runs of 6 and 12 yards.
In Class A Private Thursday, Trinity Christian scored 14 points in the first five minutes, led 35-0 late in the first half and went on to a 55-28 victory over Prince Avenue to claim the first state championship in the program’s 11-year history.
Trinity Christian, which moved from the Georgia Independent School Association to the Georgia High School Association in 2018, became the first football team from Coweta County to claim a GHSA championship.
Prince Avenue was the No. 1-ranked team and the championship favorite last year, when it rode the arm of state player of the year Brock Vandagriff to the school’s first title. This time, Trinity Christian was the favorite and the top-ranked team, and the Lions made the most of their second chance.
Brooks County defeated Irwin County 56-28 for the Class A public championship.
Hillgrove, Dodge County, Southeast Bulloch won titles in flag football Thursday.