Getz comes up big in final game

ATLANTA - If Friday's Class AA championship football game had a signature play, it came at the end of the first half.

Cody Getz, all 5-foot-7 and 167 pounds of him, darted into one of the gaping holes opened by his offensive front and encountered a much bigger player at the Calhoun 5-yard line. The Buford running back is plenty elusive, but he chose to go right at Kedron Aker.

And he proceeded to truck Aker, finishing off one of his four touchdown runs as the Wolves won 45-21 to repeat as state champions. Getz finished with 233 rushing yards on 21 carries, but none was more fun or highlight worthy than laying out a would-be tackler on a TD run.

"I like doing that," Getz said. "I like to show people I'm not just an elusive back. I can get the tough yards, too. But I have to hand it to my line, my wide receivers, my tight ends, my fullbacks. I didn't get touched except for that."

"He's a guy who's 167 pounds who plays like he's 200," Buford head coach Jess Simpson said. "Pound for pound, he's one of the strongest kids to ever come through our program."

Hopefully the college recruiters will begin to take notice, too. Air Force has offered - I could see Getz having a career out there to rival what Wesleyan grad Chad Hall did in recent years - but most other major schools have yet to follow.

As is so often the case, size is the question. But his heart, speed and strength can't be questioned. He didn't even get to show off his impressive return skills on Friday evening.

"(Getz) is just so explosive," Buford quarterback Michael May said. "He's so much fun to watch. Half the time, I give the ball to him and just sit there and watch it, like when he ran over that kid near the goal line. That was a pretty good-sized kid."

Getz broke his share of long runs on Friday, including a 30-yard TD run that iced the victory midway through the fourth quarter. But it all comes back to his scoring run late in the first half. That's the one his teammates enjoyed the most.

His linemen, tight ends, wideouts and fullbacks work hard to block for Getz, so they appreciate when he runs just as hard, like plowing over a defender. Not that they don't like to watch his nifty moves and breakaway runs, either.

"(Getz) ran awesome," Georgia-bound Buford lineman Dallas Lee said. "He outran people. He out-juked people. He ran right over people. He had the game of his life."

In the process, he put together more highlights to send off to college coaches. But he shouldn't need them. He's racked up plenty over the last couple of years.

Getz said he isn't too worried about his college choices, assuming something will work out in the next two months. His future surely wasn't on his mind on Friday, not when the present was so much fun.

"Coach Simpson always preaches not to peak too soon," Getz said. "We peaked at just the right time again, just like last year. It's an amazing feeling."

Will Hammock can be reached via e-mail at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His regular columns appear on Thursdays.