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Tonight, 32 teams across the state square off for the GHSA football semifinals. Among those 32 teams are 13 from South Georgia whose state championship hopes remain alive.
But one area team has already brought home a state title.
Thursday night, the Valwood Valiants defeated John Milledge Academy 42-21 at Five Star Stadium in Macon in the GIAA state finals. The game was historic on several fronts. First of all, it was Valwood’s seventh state championship, their first since 2017, and most notably, it ended the longest active consecutive winning streak in the nation.
John Milledge had won 62 straight games (and four state titles) going back to 2018. Over that span, John Milledge and Valwood had played each other four times and the outcomes weren’t really close.
This year, though, first-year head coach Brad Wells had his team ready to play. They neither intimidated nor impressed with their opponents’ streak. The game was a back-and-forth affair until the end of the third quarter when Valwood began a run that saw the Valiants score 21 unanswered points to put the game away.
Valwood was one of two teams from Valdosta-Lowndes County still alive in the football playoffs. Lowndes High didn’t make the playoffs. Valdosta was eliminated in the second round. The Valdosta State University Blazers face the Lenoir Rhyne Bears at 1 p.m. Saturday in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs. The game will be played at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
The Georgia High School Football Daily and the Georgia High School Football Historians Association contributed to this report.
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