GHSA flag football title games set, Central Carrollton and Lithia Spring to rematch
On Monday, the Georgia High School Association Flag Football state championship tournament continued with semifinals action, hosted by the Atlanta Falcons at their training facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia. 12 teams made the trip north of Atlanta to compete for a chance to earn a state title game berth and the Division II teams would take to the field first as the Central Carrollton Lions faced the East Coweta Indians in the first game of the day.
The Lions and Indians would play a close match up as they would end the first half with the game tied 7-7 and at the start of the second half, the Lions would take a 14-0 lead on the opening drive of the period.
However, on the ensuing possession the Indians would respond almost immediately as they would score on the second play of the drive and would tie the game 14-14. The game would remain tied until late in the half when Central would score once again and after the failed extra point attempt, led 20-14 with a minute to go in the game.
On the ensuing East Coweta possession, the Lions would get a much needed defensive stop as they would keep the Indians from reaching the end zone as time expired, picking up the win. “It was a great game, both teams played hard. It’s bad that one team had to lose, but it’s probably the best game we’ve had all season, offensively and defensively and just looking forward to Thursday,” Central Carrollton head coach, Bronson Ivester said after the win which set them for a rematch with the Lithia Springs Lions, who needed an overtime win over the St. Pius X Golden Lions to advance to the title game.
Coming into the game at 17-0, the Lions had only been scored on once this season, however faced a St. Pius team that seemed determined to keep the Lions out of the end zone for the first time this season as the tow battled with the game ending scoreless at the end of regulation. In the overtime period, the Lions would have the first possession and on third and goal, would get into the end zone thanks to a Naveah Shredrick rushing touchdown. After the extra point, Lithia Springs would take a 7-0 lead.
Needing to find the end zone themselves in order to keep the game going or get the win with a two point conversion, St. Pius would use all four downs and on the fourth and goal looked to have caught Lithia Springs off guard with a trick play that would result in an apparent touchdown. However a penalty flag was thrown and the Golden Lions were assessed an illegal forward pass penalty resulting in a loss of down thus ending the game with Lithia Springs getting the win.
“Continue do what we’ve been doing,” is what Lithia Springs head coach, Kendra Pleasants said of her conversation with her players prior to the OT period. And in the conversation, Pleasants said she reminder her girls to continue “running the ball and stay focused,” and that focused was enough for them to secure their second consecutive trip to the state title game. “It’s very exciting. Big ups to the girls, they’ve been putting in a lot of hard work and I’m just excited for them,” Pleasants said of the Lions earning the title game berth. When Lithia Springs and Central Carrollton met back in November, the Lions won 19-0.
Other winners included Blessed Trinity, who defeated Marietta and will face Milton, who eliminated Allatoona 20-13. The two will battle for the 7A crown. Harris County needed overtime to knock off Pace Academy 13-6 and will face off against SE Bulloch, who punched their ticket into the 1A-4A championship game after a 14-7 win over Loganville. The GHSA Flag Football Championships will be held on Thursday, December 8 at Georgia State University’s Center Parc Stadium.