After 16 weeks of games, the time has come to decide a champion.
Top-ranked Eagle’s Landing Christian will battle with second-ranked Athens Academy 10 a.m. Friday to determine the winner of the GHSA Class A private school state championship at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Both teams are undefeated.
“They are a great football team. Our kids are excited about the opportunity to play them. The last five scores are 70, 69, 54, 55 and 55. They haven’t been scored on in the playoffs,” said Athens Academy head coach Joshua Alexander. “We have a good football team, too. We have earned it to be here and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Eagle’s Landing Christian has scored 35 or more points in 12 consecutive games. The only matchup in which the Chargers failed to score more than that many points was the season-opener against Class AAAAA school Eagle’s Landing Golden Eagles, a team the Chargers defeated 21-14.
The Chargers have five shutouts in their last six games and six shutouts this season. Opponents have not scored more than seven points against the Chargers since Sept. 8. They have wins of 54-0, 55-0 and 55-0 in the state tournament.
“They have a 6-foot-9 kid. I can’t stand up two times and be 6-9,” Alexander said. “They are big across the board …but if we went into a game worried about who was bigger than us, we would be scared every game. We are smaller than every person we play.”
The Spartans have scored 30 or more points in 11 of their 13 games this season. They have allowed seven or fewer points in eight games.
The Spartans defeated third-ranked Mount Paran Christian 14-7 in the semifinals to advance. Eagle’s Landing Christian defeated fifth-ranked Prince Avenue Christian 55-0 in the semifinals to advance.
“You always question the power rankings. Everybody does all year. They got it right this year,” Alexander said. “Last week’s game — Mount Paran is a good football team — could have went either way. We are honored to get to play them. We are honored to get to play in the stadium. Our community is excited about it and our kids are pumped about the situation.”
Alexander hasn’t yet been to the new stadium.
“I am glad I haven’t been there because I am excited to see it with my kids,” Alexander said. “The plan was for somebody to give me some SEC tickets and nobody in this community did it. I guess I’ll go see it with my football team.”