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Clinch County wins Class A football championship

Panthers claim fifth state title

POSTED: December 11, 2010 6:49 p.m.

ATLANTA — Clinch County's performance on Saturday wasn't perfect, but the Panthers finished off a perfect season.

Tray Dorsey rushed for one touchdown and passed for another for Clinch (15-0), which capitalized on three second-half turnovers by Savannah Christian and won 24-14 in the Class A state championship.

Clinch, which entered the final averaging 268 rushing yards per game, prevailed despite being held to 38 yards rushing, 34 of which came from Dorsey.

The senior quarterback shook off a 1-for-8 passing performance in the first half to finish 7 of 14 for 155 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown pass to Fred Tiller for a 17-7 lead late in the third quarter.

The Panthers won their fifth state title, winning previously in 1988, 1991, 2002 and 2004.

Savannah Christian's Harrison Curry passed for 140 yards and touchdowns of 19 and 89 yards to Will Austin. The Raiders (13-2) also were held well below their season rushing average (265 yards per game), finishing with 50 yards on 42 attempts.

Damian Magby returned a punt 42 yards for Clinch County's first score early in the second period. Savannah Christian held a nine-minute edge in time of possession at halftime and appeared to have momentum after pulling even late in the first half on Curry's 19-yard pass to Austin, capping an 11-play, 75-yard drive.

The Raiders, who played virtually error-free in the first half, were done in by turnovers. Clinch recovered two fumbles at the Savannah Christian 21-yard line in the third quarter, converting the first into a 32-yard field goal by Dalton Bennett, whose kick struck the right upright but went through.

Clinch quickly turned the second turnover into a touchdown, with Dorsey's pass to Tiller with 42 seconds left in the third period.

Savannah Christian pulled within three on the first play of the fourth quarter, an 89-yard pass from Curry to Austin, but Clinch moved to the clinching score following Tiller's interception and return to the Savannah Christian 47.

Clinch needed just three plays to punch it in with Dorsey's 5-yard run with 6:49 left.



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