Langston Hughes reached its first state championship football game in history Friday night; Carver-Atlanta stamped its ticket for the first time in 54 years, and the state’s most dominant team, Trinity Christian, needed two overtimes to get through the high school football semifinals.

Favored teams generally had their way in the other 13 final-four games across the GHSA’s eight classifications.

Third-ranked Hughes, which opened in 2009 in Fairburn, defeated unranked Dacula 47-28 in Class 6A. Hughes became just the second south Fulton County team to reach a final in more than 30 years and first since Creekside won Class 5A in 2013.

Hughes moves on to face defending champion and No. 1-ranked Buford, which beat No. 7 Carrollton 21-6.

No. 8 Carver-Atlanta of Class 3A defeated defending champion and third-ranked Pierce County 19-17 on the road. Carver last made a championship game in 1967, losing to Dalton, and will be the first Atlanta city school to play for a title since Mays was the Class 5A runner-up in 2014.

Carver will face No. 5 Cedar Grove, a 27-6 winner over No. 6 Appling County. Cedar Grove, the preseason No. 1 team, can win its fourth state title in six seasons.

Trinity Christian, the No. 1 team in Class A Private, beat six-time former champion Eagle’s Landing Christian 48-45 in two overtimes in a game of 13 ties or lead changes. Trinity Christian’s closest game this season had been a 34-3 victory over ELCA on Oct. 1.

Trinity Christian advances to play No. 3 Prince Avenue Christian in a rematch of the 2020 final that Prince Avenue Christian won with quarterback Brock Vandagriff, now at Georgia. Prince Avenue Christian beat No. 4 Fellowship Christian 38-28.

In Class 7A, No. 1 Collins Hill and No. 3 Milton were winners. Collins Hill, seeking its first state title, beat defending champion but unranked Grayson 31-0. Milton beat No. 9 Walton 52-17.

Defending Class 5A champion and fourth-ranked Warner Robins beat No. 5 Creekside 40-15 and will face No. 6 Calhoun, a 24-7 winner over No. 9 Blessed Trinity. Neither Warner Robins nor Calhoun won their regions but beat each other’s champion in the second round.

No. 2 Benedictine and No. 3 Carver-Columbus are the Class 4A finalists. Benedictine beat No. 5 North Oconee 42-32, and Carver beat No. 4 Cedartown 22-21 with a late touchdown and two-point conversion.

The other two finals will be rematches of regular-season region games.

In 2A, No. 2 Thomasville eliminated defending champion and No. 7 Callaway 31-6 and will play No. 4 Fitzgerald, which beat No. 10 Swainsboro 27-6. Thomasville defeated Fitzgerald 15-8 on Oct. 22.

In A Public, No. 1 Irwin County beat No. 10 Wilcox County 45-14 and will play No. 2 Brooks County, which beat No. 3 Metter 49-7. Irwin County, the two-time defending champion, beat Brooks County 21-13 on Sept. 24 and in the 2020 finals.

This year’s championship games will be played Dec. 9-11 at Center Parc Stadium.

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