Michael Garcia’s two goals helped Johnson land a spot in the Class 5A state championship, after defeating Starr’s Mill 4-1 in the Class 5A state semifinals on Tuesday in Fayetteville.
With the win the Knights will face McIntosh for the state title at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Five Star Stadium in Macon.
Garcia struck first in the 19th minute for the Knights, who carried a 1-0 lead into halftime. Within a five-minute period in the second half, a surge of goals were produced by Rico Campa, Marco Vazquez and Garcia locked up the win for the Knights.
“Our goal from the first day of the season was to do whatever it takes to get to the championship game,” Johnson coach Brian Shirley said. “We knew Starr’s Mill was going to be a solid team coming in.
“We were just trying to take advantage of the space behind the back line and that second goal gave us the lift we needed.”
Starr’s Mill scored a goal later in the second half.
This will be the Knights first trip back to the state finals since a 2016 loss to St. Pius X. Johnson lost to McIntosh 3-2 in February.
Compiled by Marcus Etienne