Only one northeast Georgia team battled their way into the Georgia Dome and the state championship round on Friday night.
(NOTE: Scroll down for a complete list of results for area programs. Also, be sure to visit our Friday Game Night page for in-depth game stories and video highlights from Buford, Jefferson and Mill Creek. For a look at statewide semifinal results, click here.)
Buford held off Kell 28-16 in the Class AAAAA semifinals at Tom Riden Stadium to punch a ticket to its 10th straight title game. The Wolves were pushed by the Longhorns, who were looking for their first-ever state championship appearance -- Buford led just 14-10 at halftime. Yet the Wolves used a pair of fourth quarter scores to pull away.
However, in Class AAAAAAA, Grayson exploded for 29 points in the second quarter en route to a 44-26 victory over Mill Creek at Grayson Community Stadium in the semifinals. The Hawks trailed just 9-7 after the first quarter but three touchdown passes by Clemson-commit Chase Brice and a crazy interception return for a touchdown by the Rams blew the game open.
Grayson led 38-7 and then held off a second half rally to advance to its first state championship game since winning it all in 2011. Mill Creek was trying to make its first state championship game appearance in school history. It’s the second straight season the Hawks fell in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, in Class AAAA Jefferson fell to Thomson 27-6 on the road in the Class AAAA semifinals. The Dragons were trying to avenge an earlier loss to the Bulldogs in the regular season and also advance to their first title game since winning the 2012 Class AA state title.
The Dragons took a 3-0 lead but could not overcome Thomson's passing attack, which put up five huge completions to swing the game in the Bulldogs' favor and halt Jefferson's deepest postseason run since finishing as Class AA champion five years ago.
STATE SEMIFINAL FOOTBALL SCORES, DEC. 2
Grayson 44, Mill Creek 26
Buford 28, Kell 16
Thomson 27, Jefferson 6
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
At the Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Buford vs. Rome, 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9