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Wednesday May 25th, 2016 5:21AM

Lovett knocks off Lamar County 14-7 for AA championship

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- Grant Haley ran 41 yards for a touchdown to lead Lovett to the Georgia Class AA football championship with a 14-7 victory over Lamar County on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

The win was the first state title since 1970 for the Atlanta private school. Haley finished with 22 carries for 131 yards, and Murphy Lee added 96 yards rushing in 23 carries.

Lovett (14-1) 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 (14-1) tied it on Quentin Frazer's 11-yard run later in the first half.

Lovett's 68 plays were twice as many as the Trojans, as the Lions finished with 353 yards compared to Lamar County's 182.

It was the first state title for Lovett coach Mike Muschamp. The Lions made it to the title game in 2007, but lost 30-0 to Buford. 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, Lamar County's top offensive threats, were held to a combined 127 yards rushing in 19 carries. Lawrence had 73 yards and Lance, who was also 4 of 5 passing for 26 yards, had 54 yards rushing.

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

Lamar County needed a 24-yard field goal from Tyler Scandrett to defeat Benedictine 10-7 in the semifinals, while Lovett advanced with a 35-12 victory over Brooks County.
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