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Pierce County survives 3OT thriller, defeats Rockmart for GHSA 2A title

Just three years removed from winning their first Georgia High School Association state championship, the Pierce County Bears were once again back in the title game as they battled thenRockmart Yellow Jackets to claim the 2A crown on Tuesday. The Bears found themselves in a back and forth battle that would need three overtime periods to decide on a winner, but in the end, the Bears would win state title number two by a final of 48-45.

As the first quarter got underway, the Bears would eventually strike first after junior quarterback, Caden McGatha would bulldose his way into the end zone, heloing Pierce County take a 7-0 lead. The Yellow Jackets would later respond with a rushing touchdown by quarterback Calliyon Thompson as he broke out of the pocket as it started to breakdown. Rockmart would tie the game after the successful extra point.

From there, the two teams would continue to trade scores as the Yellow Jackets would tie the game in response to the Bears taking the lead each time they scored. The scoring trend would continue through the fourth quarter as the Yellow Jackets would tie the game at 28-28 following another rushing touchdown from Thompson, and the game would eventually go into overtime. The first two OT periods would resulyt in each team finding the end zone and adding an extra point, however, in the third overtime, the Yellow Jackets would have to settle for a field goal to take a 45-42 lead.

With an opportunity to pick up the win, the Bears would rely on McGatha's legs as the first few plays would be run plays with one that would initially be ruled a touchdown, however video replay would show McGatha to be out of bounds at the one yard line before the ball hit the pylon. However, on the very next play play, the Bears would go right back to the junipr quarterback, who would punch in the the game winning touchdown.

"Caden's been the same same every game all year long. He's steady, he's going to do whatever we ask him to do," Pierce County head coach, Ryan Herring saind after the win. Praising McGatha for being a "true team player", Herring added that as his team continued to respond to Rockmart's contiuaous answereing to tie the game each time they scored, they relied on the message they have had all season. "The toughest guy to defeat is a guy that won't quit. If we have no quit in us, then we'll be hard to beat and that's the bottom line," Herring said.


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