And now there are four teams that will be experiencing what we call "Breakfast at the Dome", as they will face off at 9 AM Friday or Saturday in the Class A Semi-Finals.
The semi-finals will feature the three top-rated teams (according to the final AP regular season poll) that combine for a 37-2 record in 2002, and one cinderella team with a 7-6 record. They have all earned their way with hard work and great play.
#1 Clinch County will play #2 Hawkinsville Friday morning to decide which team hosts the state championship game. This will be the second week in a row that a group of L. Campbell Red Devils take on the Panthers. (Hawkinsville is coached by Lee Campbell). Their opponent will be decided Saturday when #3 Metter plays surprising unranked Dooly County.
Hawkinsville 14, Gordon Lee 7
Hawkinsville broke a 7-7 tie with about a minute left to win 14-7. The win puts those southern Red Devils in the semi-finals for the first time in 40 years.
Metter 21, Twiggs County 19
Metter spotted Twiggs County a 12-point lead before storming back on 3 touchdown passes by Tiger QB Zack Stanford. The final TD came with just over a minute left to take the lead. Stanford was 11 for 27 for 148 yards on the night to return Metter to the Dome.
Dooly County 30, Commerce 22
Dooly County scored all its points in the fourth quarter to stun perennial contender Commerce, which had led 14-0 in the third quarter. The Bobcats drove 70 yards in the final 1:11 to win on a 12-yard pass with 28 seconds left as the Dooly receiver out-jumped 3 Tiger defenders. Dooly lost its first 5 games of the season, but is 7-1 since. Commerce fails to make the Class A finals after two straight appearances, and the 2000 title.
In quarterfinal games involving other local teams, AAAA #1 Thomson beat Rome 20-7 (with all points scored in overtime!!) and will face Shaw Saturday afternoon. Washington County lost to Gainesville 39-16. Augusta's Laney Wildcats will face undefeated Dublin Friday afternoon after defeating Carrollton 19-14. In games involving "old friends": GAC beat Charlton County, and Buford defeated Pierce County 35-26. Americus destroyed Union Grove 57-9 and will now face Buford Friday in a battle of defending state champions (AA vs. A).
Two-time defending AAAAA champion Parkview barely beat Northside Warner Robins 21-19 for its 43rd consecutive win. The Panthers play 8-5 East Coweta in the Dome semifinals Friday night where a win will tie our Red Devils' 44-game state record winning streak, set in 1989-1991. Lincoln County has owned Georgia's longest winning streak since 1978, nearly a quarter century.