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PREP FOOTBALL: Cougars advance to GISA Class A State Championship game
Piedmont Celebrates
The Piedmont Academy football team celebrates another state championship berth after defeating Georgia Christian 55-0. - photo by Special to The Covington News

VALDOSTA, Ga. - On paper, Georgia Christian was the higher seeded team last Friday. On the field, Piedmont Academy was clearly the better team.

The Cougars (9-3) controlled their GISA Class A semifinal state playoff game from the start and cruised to a 55-0 victory against the host Generals (5-4) in Valdosta. Piedmont advances to the title game for the third consecutive season.

“We had it rolling offensively,” head coach Clint Satterfield said. “We set up our first touchdown with three runs and then we connected on the scoring pass.”

Justin Reynolds was 12-of-19 passing for 219 yards and four touchdowns. Landon Conner had five catches for 97 yards and two scores while Ryan Holder had three receptions for 58 yards.

Luke Welch hauled in three passes for 33 yards and a score and Ryan Kennemore added a touchdown on two catches and 31 yards.

Michael Joseph had 190 yards on the ground on 22 carries with two scores. Gavin Mask rushed for 34 yards and a touchdown and Hunter Cleveland had a 3-yard touchdown.

Defensively, Mask had five tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble while Ridge Stroud recorded four tackles and forced a fumble.

Conner and Mason Tanner both had three tackles while Cole Wade had two tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. Mark Hicks, Brody Anderson and Mason Owen each had two tackles.

Dalton Wallace (one tackle, one sack), Welch (interception), Beau Cook (interception) and Daniel Joseph (one fumble recovery) also helped keep the Georgia Christian Generals off the scoreboard.

Georgia Christian took the first possession of the game but had the drive stopped on the second play after an interception by Welch at the Piedmont 40-yard line.

“Once we made that interception, things really went in our favor the rest of the game,” Satterfield said.

Satterfield’s Cougars needed just three plays to reach the end zone on the first of four touchdown passes by Reynolds for an early 7-0 lead.

The host Generals began their second series in good field position following a return to their own 45. Georgia Christian moved into Piedmont territory but could not even the score.

The Cougars then found the end zone again on another touchdown pass by Reynolds. The PAT was blocked to leave the score at 13-0.

Once again, the Generals moved into Piedmont territory but fumbled the football to give possession back to the Cougars at their own 40-yard line.

After the teams traded punts, Piedmont added to its lead on a rushing touchdown by Joseph. The Cougars then added a two-point conversion for a 21-0 advantage.

Piedmont took a 41-0 lead into halftime and added two more scores in the second half to close out the contest.

“The level of loyalty this group of players has for each other is something I have not seen in my 31 years of coaching,” Satterfield said.

The Cougars play Thomas Jefferson Academy on Friday, Dec. 3, at Mercer University in Macon.

Piedmont and TJA are meeting for the third consecutive season with a title on the line. The Jaguars won the previous two and also defeated the Cougars 28-0 in the regular season this year.