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STATE FINALS ROUNDUP: Lovett claims Class AA title for Region 6

ATLANTA – Greater Atlanta Christian must be wondering what might have been.

Lovett edged the Spartans 17-14 to win the Region 6-AA title in November and the Lions went on to win the Class AA state championship Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

Vanderbilt recruit Grant Haley had a 41-yard touchdown run and finished with 131 yards in 22 carries in leading Lovett to a 14-7 victory over LamarCounty.

It was the first state title since 1970 for Lovett (14-1), which also received 96 yards rushing in 23 carries from Murphy Lee as the Lions ran right at Lamar County (14-1).

It was the first state title for Lovett coach Mike Muschamp, the older brother of Florida coach Will Muschamp. The Lions made it to the title game in 2007, but lost 30-0 to Buford.

“It’s been a long time,” Muschamp said. “Most of these guys don’t know what 1970 was.”

Lovett drove 80 yards in nine plays to start the second half, breaking a tie on Haley’s run. Then the Lions controlled the ball most of the remainder of the game.

Willie Candler, who completed 8 of 9 passes for 77 yards, threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jack McGranahan early in the second quarter, but Lamar County tied it on Quentin Frazer’s 11-yard run later in the first half.

Lovett’s 68 plays were twice as many as Lamar County could manage and the Lions finished with 353 yards compared to 182 for the Trojans.

“The best way to beat speed is to run right at it,” Muschamp said.

Lovett’s only loss came in overtime at Class AAA runner-up Washington County when Candler was sidelined by an injury.

“We played the hardest schedule in Georgia and we won the state championship,” Muschamp said.

One of the Lions’ toughest games came against GAC. But Spartans’ loss forced them to the road in the second road of the state playoffs and they lost 31-30 at Calhoun in the second round.

Lamar County coach Franklin Stephens got the Trojans to their first title game in his second season after claiming state championships at Tucker in 2008 and 2011.

Twins Lawrence and Lance Austin, LamarCounty’s top offensive threats, were held to a combined 127 yards in 19 carries. Lawrence had 73 yards and Lance, who was also 4 of 5 passing for 26 yards, had 54 yards rushing.

CLASS AAAA

Griffin 56,

Carrollton 35

ATLANTA — Brookwood is no longer part of the highest scoring state championship game in Georgia.

Jaquez Parks passed for four touchdowns and ran 73 yards for another score, amassing 554 total yards in leading Griffin to a 56-35 victory over Carrollton for the Class AAAA state championship Saturday night at the Georgia Dome.

It was the highest scoring Georgia championship game ever, the 91 combined points besting the 90 scored in Brookwood’s 52-38 victory over Colquitt County for the 2010 title in Class AAAAA (now AAAAAA)

Trey Willis caught three of the touchdown passes from Parks and also had a 98-yard kickoff return for a score as Griffin (15-0) won its first title in 35 years by beating Carrollton (13-2).

Parks completed 16 of 21 passes for 338 yards and also gained 216 yards on the ground in 16 carries. Willis caught seven passes for 167 yards.

It was Griffin’s first trip to the championship game since 1980. The Bears’ 1978 title had been there only one since 1942.

Carrollton has seven state titles, the most recent in 1998. The Trojans lost to Sandy Creek in 2010 championship game.

Willis caught his third touchdown pass from Parks, this one for 11 yards, to start the third quarter and then followed Trey Chivers’ a 5-yard scoring run for Carrollton with his 98-yard kickoff return to give Griffin a 49-35 advantage. Parks’ long touchdown run was the only score of the fourth quarter.

Griffin, quickly down 14-0, rallied to lead 35-27 after a wild first half in which Parks accumulated 289 yards — 228 passing with three touchdowns and 61 rushing.

After Carrollton went up 24-14 early in the second quarter on a 34-yard field goal by Tyler Newsome, Parks hit Keyston Fuller for an 80-yard score, Telly Sloan scored from a yard out and Ryan Cochran ran 90 yards with a Carrollton fumble for a touchdown. Newsome got the Trojans back within eight points on a 23-yard field goal just before halftime.

The teams combined for 357 yards and five touchdowns in the first quarter alone. Chivers had scoring runs of 24 and 9 yards to start it off for Carrollton and then caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from Wil Garrett. Parks hit Willis for scores of 30 and 53 yards for Griffin.

Griffin defeated defending champion Sandy Creek 32-26 in the quarterfinals and then slipped by Wayne County 25-20 in the semifinals. Carrollton advanced to the title game with a 46-44 victory over Marist in four overtimes.

CLASS A (PUBLIC)

Marion Co. 12,

CharltonCounty 3

ATLANTA — Lorenzo Smothers caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Justin Eckert in the fourth quarter and Marion County won the Class A Public School championship with a 12-3 victory over Charlton County.

The title came in just the eighth season for MarionCounty (13-1) and the Eagles used their defense to win it in their first trip to the Georgia Dome. Charlton County (9-5) had just six first downs and 137 yards.

Smothers gained 105 yards on 20 carries, caught two passes for 31 yards and also intercepted a pass for Marion County, who has won four straight region titles under coach Mike Swaney

Marion County took a 5-3 lead on a safety midway in the third quarter and scored the game’s first touchdown early in the fourth on Harrington’s pass to Smothers that capped a six-play 53-yard drive.