GHSA Football 2021 Championships Preview- Who Will Make History?
We have made it to the final week of the 2021 Georgia High School Association football season and state title games will begin on Thursday with the 1A Public and 1A Private championship games, with both featuring rematches from the 2020 title games as defending 1A Public champs, Irwin County will face Brooks County and in 1A Private, defending champs, Prince Avenue will face Trinity Christian. The Irwin, Brooks matchup is one of the title games featuring region opponents and it would be Irwin defeating Brooks 21-13 back in September. The two would finish one and two respectively in the final region standings.
Another all-region championship match up will feature Cedar Grove against Carver-Atlanta in the 3A championship game. Four the Saints, a win for them would give them their fourth state title in six years. Even more impressive for the Saints is the fact they are under the direction of new head coach, John Adams, who is now the third consecutive coach to lead the Saints to a state title game. For Carver-Atlanta, they are the first Atlanta Public School to advance to a GHSA state title game in over 40 years and are looking to win their first ever championship, so despite the outcome of the game, this marks an historical season for them. These two teams met back in September, with Cedar Grove winning 17-0, but since the loss, Carver has won nine straight including the first four rounds of the playoff.
The 6A title game between Langston Hughes and Buford also has history tied to it as Langston Hughes is playing in their first championship game in the program’s history. For Buford, Friday will mark their third consecutive championship game under head coach Brian Appling, who took over in their 2019 championship season. While a win for Langston would give them their first ever state title, a win for Buford with give them an historic 14th championship since 2001, the second most in Georgia. Friday’s meeting will mark the second consecutive season that they have met in the post season, as Buford eliminated Langston Hughes in the third round of the 2020 GHSA playoffs.
Also hoping to be included in history is the Collins Hill Eagles, who are back in the championship game for the second consecutive season as well as the second time in program history. In 2020, the Eagles came up short of winning their first ever state championship as they fell to Grayson 38-14. This season, the mission for the Eagles to get back to the title game has been clear as they completed the regular season unbeaten at 10-0 and ranked the No. 1 team in the state. However, in order to embark on history, Collins Hill will have to take down Milton, who is on familiar ground. The Milton is no stranger to winning state titles, as they were crowned kings of the mountain top back in 2018, when they won their first ever title. Milton finished the regular season at 9-1 and are ranked the No. 3 team in the state.
The remaining match ups include the 5A championship in which Warner Robins will look to win back to back titles when they face Calhoun, who is looking for their first state title since 2017, on Saturday. In 4A, Carver-Columbus, who was knocked out of the 2020 playoffs in the quarterfinals, will take on Benedictine, who was knocked in of the 2020 playoffs in the semifinals and ironically, both teams lost to 2020 runner up, Jefferson. Benedictine won their last state title in 2016, while Carver-Columbus last hosted up the hardware in 2007. Lastly in 2A, Thomasville, who last won a championship in 1988, will face Fitzgerald, who has not one a state title since 1948.