The Marion County Eagles looked to win their first state championship in six years but they had to take down the undefeated Iriwn County Indians at Georgia State Stadium.
The Indians offense got off to a red hot start. Gabriel Benyard took the first Indians play from scrimmage to the house. Then on the first Eagles drive Trice McCannon screen pass was picked off and the Irwin County Indians were off to a 14-0 lead. Marion County would not back down. McCannon led the Eagles down the field and eventually found Markevious Kelley in the endzone to cut the Indians led to 14-7. Later in the 2nd quarter the Eagles trailed 21-7 then McCannon takes a broken play and turns it into a 65 yard touchdown run. When the first half ended the Eagles trailed Irwin County 28-14.
In the 2nd half the Indians were on fire on all sides of the ball. The turning point of the game came when McCannon under pressure tries to get rid of the ball, looked like an incomplete pass but the officials ruled the play as a fumble. The Indians recovered the ball and then scored on the very next play with a Jamorri Colson handoff to increase the Indians lead to 35-14. Irwin County’s defense pitched a shutout in the second half while their offense put up 28 more points to win the Class A-Public Championship 56-14 over Marion County. Despite falling in the State Championship game head coach Chris Kirksey praised the heart and passion his team played with.
“Being around these guys each and every day. The heart that they have shown all throughout this season. Many times they’ve been down two scores and have fought back so that’s what just stands out to me. Their huge heart and to play the game the way it should be played,” said Kirksey.
This game was also the final game for star quarterback Trice McCannon. McCannon was a four year starter for the Eagles and while he was under center in Buena Vista the offense was dynamic and explosive every year. Coach Kirksey believes that McCannon’s legacy will live on with Marion County fans for years to come.
“He means a lot to this football program. He’s one of the best quarterbacks that’s been at Marion County. He’s been a great leader for us. We’re going to miss him. He’s been a starter for four years. He does everything the way it’s supposed to be done. Full speed and wide open. That’s at practice or on the games on Fridays or Saturday mornings. He’s just a great leader for us,” said Coach Kirksey.