Only two area football teams still in the hunt for a state championship.
Buford and Jefferson moved into the state finals in their respective classifications after taking wins on Friday night in the semifinal round of the Georgia High School Association football playoffs.
In a battle of the state's most prolific state title winners, Buford blew past Valdosta 45-26 at Tom Riden Stadium in Class 6A. Victor Venn rushed 12 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns, while Gabe Irvin Jr added 94 yards and a score. Buford will go for its second consecutive state title after winning the Class 5A crown in 2019.
Jefferson traveled to Savannah to take on Benedictine, and the Dragons' Malaki Starks proved why is one of the most dynamic players in the state. The junior athlete rushed for 321 yards and four touchdowns and passed for another 47 and a score in leading the Dragons into the Class 4A state championship game with a 42-35 win over Benedictine. It is the first finals appearance for Jefferson since winning the Class 2A state title in 2012.
And Rabun County's quest for a state title came to an end with a 41-17 loss to Callaway on the road. Gunner Stockton and Adriel Clark connected for a touchdown in the second quarter to give Clark a new state record for TD catches (28) in a season.
Buford will play Lee County at 7 p.m. on Dec. 29 in the championship game.
Jefferson will play Marist at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 in the championship game.
You can check AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night page for game stories and video highlights.
STATE PLAYOFFS SEMIFINAL ROUND SCORES FOR Dec. 18
(Games at higher seeded team)
Buford 45, Valdosta 26
Jefferson 42, Benedictine 35
Callaway 41, Rabun County 17
STATE PLAYOFFS FINALS FOR Dec. 29
(Games at Georgia State Stadium)
Buford vs. Lee County, 7 p.m. (AM 550 WDUN)
Jefferson vs. Marist, 3:30 p.m. (FM 102.9 WDUN)