Lithia Springs, Dodge County Wins Set Up GHSA 5A-6A State Title Game
On Monday, the Georgia High School Association flag football state playoffs resumed with semifinals games to determine the state title match ups. The 5A-6A semifinals would start of the day as the Lithia Springs Lions and Greenbriar Wolfpack met up in the first game of the day. The contest would be a defensive battle as neither offense would manage to find the end zone throughout majority of the game. The Wolfpack would get on the board first thanks to a safety, caused by a troubled snap for the Lions as they were backed up at their own goal line.
But with just under five minutes to go in the second half, trailing 2-0, Lithia Springs made a quarterback substitution, bringing in Kasja West, who would connect with Hannah McRiver for a touchdown giving the Lions a 6-2 and they would go on to win by that final. Following the win, Lithia Springs head coach, Kendra Pleasants talked about the feeling of advancing to the title game in their inaugural season. “This is an amazing feeling. I’m so proud of the girls, they put in a lot of hard work throughout the season,” Pleasant said. She would add that from the start of getting together over the summer, her girls “knew what the assignment was” in reaching the championship game.
Game two, pitted the Riverwood Raiders, also in their inaugural season, against the Dodge County Indians, who were eliminated last season in the quarterfinals by Greenbriar. The Indians would score two first half touchdowns to take a 13-0 lead, as their defense slowed the Riverwood offense. In the second half, the Raiders would begin to gain some momentum offensively as they would finally get onto the scoreboard thanks to a Taylor Goldman pass to Jaden James and they would trail 13-6. As their defense managed to keep the Indians out of the end zone on a couple of fourth and goal situations, the Raiders offense would string together another good looking drive, however, with under three minutes to go in the game, a Goldman pass would be intercepted by Dodge County’s Altierra Gooch and that would seal the deal for the Indians.
After the win, Dodge County head coach, Clint Sanders said the feeling of heading to the title game was “exciting” as he added, “these girls have been working hard for two years to get to this point right here”. Sanders also praised he defense for their stellar play, in particularly on the interception that helped put the game away for them. “We have a great defense. Our safety is leading the state in interceptions and our flag fullers are in the top 10 for flag pulls and tackles for loss. There’s not a weak spot on it,” Sanders said following Monday’s win.