Cedar Grove and Tucker advance to Trail to the Title championship game

The Cedar Grove Saints celebrate their 28-22 victory over the Stephenson Jaguars to advance to the championship game Nov. 1 at Hallford Stadium. Photos by Travis Hudgons

The Trail to the Title semifinals had four undefeated teams coming and two remain to play for the championship trophy.
The Cedar Grove Saints jumped to a 22-6 lead and held on for a 28-22 victory over four-time Trail to the Title champion Stephenson Jaguars to advance to the championship game Nov. 1 at Hallford Stadium.

The Saints (8-0) scored twice in the first quarter to take a 14-0 lead into the second period. Antwine Hicks opened the scoring on an 8-yard run to put Cedar Grove up 6-0 early in the quarter.

Deante Maxwell found Jaydon Haselwood just behind a pair of Stephenson defenders for a 44-yard connection with 1:25 left in the first quarter.

Hicks ran in the two-point conversion to make it 14-0 heading into the second quarter.

The Jaguars looked to gain momentum as Kobe Branch’s 23-yard gallop set up Jevon Goff’s 11-yard touchdown, trimming the lead to 14-6 with 6:19 left in the first half.

Cedar Grove responded quickly as Devon Barnes took the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. Barnes caught a pass from Maxwell for the two-point conversion and a 22-6 advantage at the half.

Goff scored his second touchdown of the game with 4:08 left in the third quarter, and Donny Harris added the two-point conversion to trim the Saints’ lead to 22-14.

Williams Jenkins set the Saints up late in the third period with an interception and return to the Stephenson 22. Cedar Grove cashed in via a three-yard touchdown pass as Maxwell connected with Haselwood for the second time in the game to push the lead to 28-14.

The Jaguars came back down the field as Travon Ford connected on passes of 39 yards to Deshon Stoudemire and 30 yards to Javier Morton.

Ford then completed the drive by going in from one yard out to trim the lead to 28-20 with 5:33 remaining in the game.

Kelvian Hayes took advantage of a fumble in the end zone to chase down a Cedar Grove runner for a safety to close the gap to 28-22 with 3:25 to play in the game.

Stephenson put the pressure on driving to the Cedar Grove 32 where, on fourth and 10, Jenkins made another defensive play by knocking down the pass to give the Saints the ball back on downs.

The Jaguars got the ball back with 12 seconds to play on the Cedar Grove 29, but two incomplete passes later the Saints had wrapped up the win.

 

Tucker 14, Renfroe 0
Defending Trail to the Title champions Tucker Tigers moved into the championship game for the second consecutive season by picking up their seventh shutout of the season in a 14-0 semifinal win over the Renfroe Bulldogs.

Renfroe’s defense had four shutouts of its own on the season and the two defenses dominated the first half as the teams went to the break knotted at 0-0.

The Bulldogs (7-1) opened the second half driving to the Tucker 34 before the Tiger defense stiffened on fourth down. Quarius Smith and Nathaniel Morgan broke through on fourth down for a sack of the Renfroe quarterback to end the threat.

The Tigers then began a march back down the field, including a 12-yard run by David Davis to the Renfroe one-yard line.

Redeetris Richardson finished off the drive with a one-yard run to put the Tigers ahead for good. Davis added the two-point conversion for the 8-0 lead with 28 seconds to play in the third quarter.

Renfroe had a bad snap on a punt that gave the Tigers the football at the Bulldog 20 with 5:41 to play in the game. Morgan exploded for 18 yards on the first play and going in from two yards out on the second to give Tucker the 14-0 lead.

The two teams would trade four turnovers in the next four possessions with the final coming via an interception by Davis.

Vondarius Boynton broke off a 21-yard run to help the Tigers run out the clock for the victory.

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