Ivory, who was still recovering from a broken left leg, didn’t play in the first half in the semifinals against undefeated Tucker, leading 28-7 at halftime.
But the 6-foot-2, 235-pounder saved the day for the Eagles, throwing for 305 yards and three touchdowns to help them rally from a 21-point deficit to beat Tucker 31-28.
Along with Ivory’s phenomenal passing, Northside’s stifling defense stopped a rushing attack that seemed like it couldn’t be contained as Drayton Calhoun ran for over 120 yards in the first half.
But the Eagles (14-0) found a way. Now, they’ll visit Ware County for the Class AAAA crown tonight.
Some might think the Gators don’t have a chance against Northside, which held the No. 1 spot in Class AAAA for the entire season. However, with having homefield advantage, Ware County could make some noise for a team that is riding a 10-game winning streak.
In Class AAAAA, Lowndes returns to the championship game seeking its fifth state title — third in the state’s highest class. The Tigers’ defense dominated and Gerald Demps threw a 23-yard touchdown to beat Camden County 10-0.
Lowndes (13-1) will host a North Gwinnett squad that ranked atop The Associated Press prep poll at season’s end. The Bulldogs (13-1) are led by Michael Tamburo, who threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-7 win over Walton.
North Gwinnett will be going for its first state title in the school’s history on Saturday night.
Carver-Columbus travels to Cairo in the Class AAA state championship. But the unbeaten Tigers’ (14-0) road to become this year’s best probably won’t be easy against the Syrupmakers (13-1), who have two dependable running backs.
Reginald Bryant and Johnny Williams combined for almost 350 yards rushing as Cairo scored 35-unanswered points in the third quarter to beat North Hall 42-21. The Syrupmakers will be going for their second title, since winning it in 1990.
Also tonight, Emanuel County Institute and Wilcox County will play for the Class A title at Crisp County High School in Cordele. Both teams are trying to win their first Single-A championship.