The championship round of Georgia High School Association football playoffs is upon us and Jefferson in Class 4A looks for its first state title since 2012.
The Dragons (14-0) will take on Marist (12-0) on Tuesday. You can catch the action on FM 102.9 WDUN (Click to listen live) beginning at 3 p.m. with the pregame. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. at Georgia State Stadium.
Jefferson has not advanced this far since winning its only title (Class 2A) since 2012. Marist is a perennial power but has not on a title since 2006, though the War Eagles are into their fourth finals since then.
It will be the proverbial Clash of Titans as the Dragons possess the state's most powerful offense (44.0 ppg) while the War Eagles have the state's toughest and stingiest defense (34 points, 2.8 ppg).
Be sure to check back with AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night throughout the days for score updates, game stories, and video highlights of Tuesday's action. You can also check for scores and highlights on our Twitter feed: @FridayGameNight
CLASS 4A NOTEBOOK
After the first three rounds, this classification was the toughest to get a road win in nine years. The home team in Class 4A went 25-3 (89 percent) through the quarterfinals, by far the best in any classification in 2020. So of course it made sense that both Jefferson and Marist snagged road wins in the semifinal round. ... This is the only final of the eight that features a pair of undefeated teams. It is also one of just two matchups (Class 6A) that features the top two ranked teams coming into the playoffs. ... Marist has two state titles (2003, 4A; 1989, 3A) but this will be the fourth trip to the championship game for the War Eagles since 2006. However, they are 0-3 in their last three title games, the most recent in 2017 in a loss to Blessed Trinity. ... Jefferson won its only state title in 2012 (Class 2A) and this is its first trip to the finals since then. ... The best unit vs. unit matchup will be between the Jefferson offense (44.0 ppg) and the Marist defense (2.8 ppg).
JEFFERSON vs. MARIST
-- WHEN: 3:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Georgia State Stadium, Savannah
-- RADIO: WDUN 102.9 FM
-- JEFFERSON (14-0): Ranked No. 2 in Class 4A; No. 1 seed from Region 8; defeated Benedictine 42-35 in the semifinals
-- MARIST (12-0): Ranked No. 1 in Class 4A; No. 6 seed from Region 3; defeated Bainbridge 42-0 in the semifinals
-- NOTABLE: First-ever meeting between the two programs. ... After last week’s win, this Jefferson squad pushed its win streak to 14, the second-longest win streak in program history (14). Only the 2012-13 team (16) has a longer one. ... The Dragons continue to show that familiarity, or a lack thereof, means little to them. Marist will be the 8th team they have faced in 2020 for the first time ever. They are 7-0, including 4-0 in the playoffs, vs. first-time opponents in 2020. ... Marist is 7-0 vs. ranked teams in 2020. Jefferson is 5-0 vs. ranked teams in 2020. ... If the Dragons’ Malaki Starks wasn’t already considered a top-5 player in the state, last week certainly garnered him some added attention. The junior ran for 321 yards and 4 TDs, including an electrifying 65-yard TD run that turned out to be the game-winner. He also threw a TD pass and intercepted a pass in the end zone in the final moments to seal the win. ... Something will have to give. The Dragons ran for over 500 yards last week and are averaging a classification-best 44.0 ppg behind a ground game that is piling 332 yards a game on the season. The Marist defense, however, has given up just 34 points (2.8 ppg) all season, which leads all classifications, and held Bainbridge to minus-5 yards rushing and just 96 total yards last week. They have pitched 8 shutouts on the season, including three in the playoffs. ... Sr. Kam Robinson could again be a huge key for the Dragons on special teams. He is averaging 23.6 yards on 19 punt returns with 4 returned for TDs in 2020. He is fearless with only 5 fair catches all season. ... Marist is also a run-heavy team but no one has more than 500 yards, though four players have 350 or more. Lincoln Parker (82 car., 450 yards) leads the War Eagles. ... The turnover battle will be huge. Jefferson is averaging 1 turnover a game (14 total) but also has forced 23 turnovers for a plus-9 ratio.