Originally created 12/16/01

Teams advance to finals



ATLANTA - Jermaine Allen caught three passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns as No. 3-ranked Americus earned a return to the Class AA state championship game, beating No. 1 Cook 35-28 on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

The Panthers (13-1), who won the AA title in 2000, will play host to Region 1-AA rival Early County on Friday. Americus beat Early County 21-19 earlier this year.

Americus quarterback Clyde Tullis completed 8-of-15 passes for 219 yards and Michael Terry rushed for 111 yards and two scores.

Allen grabbed a 65-yard touchdown pass from Clyde Tullis as Americus scored on the game's first play.

Cook (13-1) answered on a 14-yard pass from Thomas Arnold to Mastafa Tippins late in the first quarter, but Arnold's 2-point run failed.

Americus' Michael Terry pushed the lead to 14-7 with a 3-yard run with 7:40 left in the first half.

CEDARTOWN 41, FITZGERALD 16

At the Georgia Dome, Shiron Colvin caught five passes for 151 yards, including touchdowns of 64 and 21 yards, as No. 5 Cedartown beat third-ranked Fitzgerald in the Class AAA semifinals.

The Bulldogs (13-0) scored two defensive touchdowns in the fourth quarter to cap the win, getting a 79-yard fumble return from Drew Robinson and a 68-yard interception return by his brother Matt Robinson.

Cedartown, which last won a state championship in 1963, will meet LaGrange in the finals Friday in Cedartown.

Tyler Pruitt carried 16 times for 151 yards for Fitzgerald (12-1-1), which compiled 377 total yards but came away empty on four scoring opportunities.

Cedartown scored first on a 10-yard pass from Jacob Kelly to Drew Robinson early in the second quarter for a 7-0 lead, finishing a 13-play, 98-yard drive.

Fitzgerald pulled to within a point at 7-6 on Tyler Pruitt's 16-yard run. The Hurricanes went for a two-point conversion after a penalty on Cedartown, but came up short.

Fitzgerald, which rolled up 206 first-half yards and had just six points to show for it, had two other drives in the first half that ended in turnovers inside the Cedartown 5-yard line.

BOWDON 31, METTER 23

At the Georgia Dome, Maresse Protho ran 26 times for 181 yards for a touchdown and kicked a crucial field goal to end the scoring in Bowdon's win over Metter in a Class A semifinal.

Bowdon, which advanced to its third state championship game under coach Dwight Hochstetler, will play No. 1 Buford (14-0) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The unranked Red Devils (10-4) will host the game either at their stadium or at Grisham Stadium, Carrollton's home field.

Hochstetler, who led Bowdon to titles in 1989 and '92, watched with dismay as Metter ran off 21 unanswered points in the second half.

The Red Devils led 28-10 following Antwan Jones' 2-yard run with 6:05 left in the third quarter, but Zach Stanford connected with Antoine Byrd for a 50-yard touchdown pass less than two minutes later to bring Metter within 11.

After Danny Cheley recovered Jones' fumble for Metter (9-5), Stanford hit Reggie Donaldson with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 1:33 remaining in the third. Ricky Green's 1-yard run with 10:30 left in the game ended the Tigers' day.