Cobb County clinched a football state championship Friday night when two of its teams – Harrison and Allatoona – reached the Class AAAAAA final while another Cobb resident, Marietta, advanced to its first title game in 52 years.
The semifinals also were good to defending champions Blessed Trinity, Cedar Grove and Eagle's Landing Christian, although Clinch County's two-year reign atop the Class A public-school division was ended No. 1-ranked Irwin County.
In the highest classification, Marietta (12-2) defeated Parkview 42-31. Marietta last played for a title in 1967, when the Blue Devils defeated Columbus 14-7 at Grant Field. Then came the drought as no Cobb team would win again until Allatoona broke through in 2015.
Marietta will play No. 1-ranked Lowndes (14-0) for the Class AAAAAAA title next week at Georgia State Stadium. Lowndes won 49-28 over North Gwinnett . The Vikings' last title game came during its 2007 championship season.
Harrison (14-0) defeated No. 1 Dacula 38-7 in AAAAAA to reach the finals for the first time since 2000. Harrison has never won a state championship. Allatoona (11-2), Harrison's Region 6 rival, beat Richmond Hill 17-14 in overtime. Harrison defeated Allatoona 21-17 in an Oct. 11 regular-season game.
But regular-season games matter little now. Blessed Trinity (13-1) avenged a Sept. 6 loss by defeating Woodward Academy 46-21. That put the Titans in position to win a third straight AAAA crown.
Blessed Trinity will face Oconee County, a 35-28 winner over Sandy Creek. Oconee County (13-1) last played in the finals during its 1999 state-championship season.
Eagle's Landing Christian (12-1) also avenged a regular-season defeat with a 21-7 win over Holy Innocents'. Holy Innocents' had beaten ELCA 42-41 on Sept. 20, ending ELCA's 41-game winning streak against Class A opponents. Now, ELCA is one victory from a fifth straight state championship, which would be a state record.
ELCA will face Wesleyan (12-2), which defeated Fellowship Christian 56-20. ELCA beat Wesleyan 54-17 in the regular season.
Irwin County beat Clinch 36-0. Clinch had beaten Irwin in the state finals three of the past four seasons, each time after losing to Irwin in the regular season. Irwin (12-0) finally swept its region rival and will play Marion County (11-2), a 42-25 winner over Pelham.
Cedar Grove (12-2) remains on target to defend its AAA title and claim a third in four seasons after beating Greater Atlanta Christian 28-18. Cedar Grove will face Crisp County (11-3), a 14-6 winner over Jenkins. Crisp will be playing in its first final, although a predecessor school, Cordele, won a Class B championship in 1951.
The semifinals were over quickly in AAAAA as Buford (13-1) beat Jones County 29-0 and Warner Robins (13-1) defeated Starr's Mill 55-3. Warner Robins is in its third straight final, though the Demons haven't won since 2004. Buford has won 10 state titles this century but none since 2015.
The AA final will have Dublin (13-1) against Brooks County (10-4). Dublin defeated Thomasville 55-45 while Brooks beat Callaway 39-35. Dublin last won a state title in 2006, Brooks in 1994. Dublin beat Brooks 49-35 in the regular season.
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