Originally created 12/15/01

Class AAA LaGrange advances



ATLANTA - Skyler Thornton and Sam Olajubutu each scored two touchdowns to help No. 2 LaGrange advance to the Class AAA championship with a 35-13 win over No. 10 North Forsyth Friday afternoon in the Georgia Dome.

The Grangers (13-0) are seeking their sixth state title and first since 1991. They will play the winner of today's semifinal between No. 3 Fitzgerald and No. 5 Cedartown. That game will start at 3 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.

LaGrange, which improved to 23-1 since the start of last season, got 122 yards rushing on 15 carries from Thornton. Olajubutu ran three times for 21 yards.

Two of LaGrange's five touchdowns came off North Forsyth turnovers, and the second of the Grangers' three third-quarter scores was the result of a bobbled snap on a punt return.

LaGrange got off to a terrible start. Though they lost a fumble on their first play, the Grangers escaped damage when the Raiders missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt. They weren't so lucky the next time.

After Tim Strickland intercepted a Blake Mitchell pass, Treve Gibson ran for an 11-yard touchdown that gave North Forsyth a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. The Raiders (12-2) went downhill from there. Jake Phillips recovered a North Forsyth fumbled punt return, and Thornton ran for a 27-yard touchdown on the next play.

David Langston intercepted Raiders quarterback Carl Meadows, who ended the day having absorbed nine sacks, at the LaGrange 23. Following a pass interference call and a long pass from Mitchell to Patrick Higgins, Olajubutu took a muffed handoff and ran for a 2-yard touchdown and a 13-7 lead late in the second.

Thornton followed with a 40-yard run early in the third, and after the Raiders' poor snap on a punt, Olajubutu made it 28-7 with a 23-yard run.

Mitchell and Emanuel Harrell connected for a 21-yard touchdown at the end of the third, and Meadows completed a Hail Mary pass for a touchdown as the buzzer sounded.