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Monday December 11th, 2017 6:26AM

Semifinals: History made, re-visited as two area programs march on to championship games

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor

History was made for the second week in a row for one program and another area team made it back to the brightest lights of all, as two of three northeast Georgia football programs marched through to next weekend's state championship weekend in Atlanta.

(NOTE: For in-depth game stories and video highlights of Friday's contests, visit our Friday Game Night page.)

Rabun County continued its historic march through the state bracket, claiming its first ever state title game appearance after reaching its first ever semifinal -- a game it won 23-12 over Brooks County in Tiger.

The Wildcats overcame a slow start and a 5-0 first half deficit to score 17 straight points and grab control of the contest. They also picked off the visiting Trojans five times.

Meanwhile, North Gwinnett is back in the championship game for the first time since 2013 after overcoming a rough start of its own for a 38-17 victory in Suwanee. The Bulldogs fired back to take a halftime lead and clinched a spot at Mercedes Benz Stadium on Saturday in Atlanta.

The only northeast Georgia program to hit the road on Friday was the only team that saw its season come to an end, as Rome took out Buford 45-7 in a rematch of last year's Class AAAAA championship game -- this time in Rome's Barron Stadium.

The Wolves saw their bid for an 11th straight state title game appearance come to an end.

Both Rabun County and North Gwinnett will play on Saturday in Atlanta, the Wildcats at 1 p.m. and the Bulldogs at 8 p.m.

STATE FOOTBALL SEMIFINAL SCORES
Class AAAAAAA
North Gwinnett 38, McEachern 17

Class AAAAA
Rome 45, Buford 7

Class AA
Rabun County 23, Brooks County 12


STATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
At Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta
Saturday
1 p.m., Class AA Final
Rabun County vs. Hapeville Charter

8 p.m., Class AAAAAAA Final
North Gwinnett vs. Colquitt County

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