The Trinity Lions are headed to the GISA Class AAA state championship next Friday at Mercer University with a victory over Gatewood.
Trinity plays Valwood in the state title game. Valwood advanced to the championship with a win over Frederica.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.
Trinity (11-2) began the season with two-straight losses, but goes into the state title game with 11 wins in a row. Gatewood lost for the first time this season and end its year with a 12-1 record.
Trinity built a 10-7 lead at the half against Gatewood.
Kyle Riesselmann scored on a touchdown run to give the Lions an early 7-0 lead.
Gatewood then scored its first points of the night to tie the game at 7-all.
Right before the half, Trinity regained the lead when Ethan Aldridge split the uprights on a field goal for a 10-7 lead at the break.
Luke Vermilya opened the second-half scoring with a 49-yard run to push Trinity’s lead to 17-7.
Zach Seymour then gave the Lions a 24-7 lead with 3:13 left in the third quarter on his touchdown run.
Early in the fourth quarter, Gatewood scored on a 19-yard touchdown to trim the lead to 24-13.
Seymour added his second touchdown of the night with a 25-yard touchdown run with 4:38 left in the game to increase the lead to 31-13.
Gatewood added one more touchdown and 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 31-21.
Riesselmann put an exclamation point on the win with his second score of the night, a 7-yard run with 1:25 left to put Trinity up 38-21.
Trinity stopped Gatewood’s final drive by forcing a turnover.
Tift County 59, Newnan 13: The Newnan Cougars football team’s foray into the 2017 state playoffs didn’t last very long.
The Tift County Blue Devils raced to a 35-0 first-quarter lead and cruised from there, defeating the Cougars 59-13 Friday night in the first round of the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs at Gene Brodie Field in Tifton.
Newnan ends its season at 4-7 while Tift County advances to the state second round with a 10-1 record.
The Blue Devils scored on their first series of the game on a 60-yard touchdown pass from Griffin Collier to Rashod Bateman for the quick 7-0 lead.
The rout was on after that as Tift County scored the next 28 points to lead 35-0 — in the first quarter. The Cougars turned the ball over twice in the first and that led to 14 points in the onslaught.
Tift County led 49-0 in the second quarter before Newnan finally scored on a 24-yard TD pass from senior Bryant Walker to fellow senior P.J. Harris with 1:07 remaining until halftime. The extra point was blocked, so Tift County led 49-6.
The Blue Devils got a field goal late to lead Newnan 52-6 at the half.
Walker scored on a TD run to start the third quarter and Dean Goad kicked the extra point to make the score 52-13. Tift County scored one more TD to make the final margin 59-13.
Holy Ground 50, Central 20: For the second time this season, Holy Ground knocked off Central.
Friday night it was in the GICAA Final Four.
Ryley Byers threw two touchdown passes and Shaquan Parson rushed for a touchdown for Central.