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2023 Georgia High School State Championship Predictions

The 2023 football season has given us many Friday nights of exciting football, including memorable playoff games over the first four rounds. Now it will give us what promises to be one more exciting rounds of Georgia high school state championship games from Monday, December 11 through Wednesday, December 13 at Mercedes Benz Stadium, and we’re here with our Pick 6 – make that Pick 8 – predictions.

The eight state championship games, which were set after the semifinals were played last Friday, are as follows:

  • Class 7A: Milton vs. Walton
  • Class 6A: Woodward Academy vs. Thomas County Central
  • Class 5A: Creekside vs. Coffee
  • Class 4A: Stockbridge vs. Perry
  • Class 3A: Cedar Grove vs. Savannah Christian
  • Class 2A: Pierce County vs. Rockmart
  • Class 1A-DI: Prince Avenue Christian vs. Swainsboro
  • Class 1A-DII: Manchester vs. Bowdon

Class 7A

We begin our Georgia high school state championship predictions with a game that could come down to which team has the ball last. Milton is one of the teams I was talking about in our latest Top-25 that started the season 3-2 and looked like a .500 team. But as they did last year, the Eagles flipped the switch and on came the light. Milton and Coach Ben Reaves are just winners. They come alive when it matters the most. And here they are. But so are the Walton Raiders, who are looking for their first state championship. Who gets it done?

Phil’s Pick: Milton 49, Walton 45

Class 6A

What a path each team took to get here. Justin Rogers better hang on to that rabbit’s foot in his pocket, because it’s working! Thomas County Central has forced a late turnover in each of its last two games – against Rome two weeks ago and in the semifinals against Marist, when an errant pitch fell into the hands of a TCC defensive player. In both cases, the Jackets were able to recover the turnover, and at Rome they kicked a field goal that won the game. Against the War Eagles last week, TCC was able to salt away its lead until it was “game over.”

Phil’s Pick: Thomas County Central 14, Woodward Academy 13

Class 5A

This championship game features Coach Maurice Dixon vs. Coach Mike Coe. The latter has one of the best defenses, with the Trojans allowing just under a TD per game (86 points in 14 games). They also have a great running back in Fred “Bulldozer” Brown. It’s not fancy, what Coe’s Trojans are doing: Run the ball and play great defense. That’s usually a recipe for winning games, and that is exactly what has stirred Coffee’s drink. Creekside has only one loss, but it was a bad one – as in 62-0 bad. But they have taken care of business against every other team.

Phil’s Pick: Coffee 28, Creekside 24

Class 4A

Perry and Stockbridge both seek their first state championship, but only one team will hoist the trophy following the game at the Benz. Stockbridge has pulled off one of the biggest upsets of these playoffs by knocking off Benedictine – I don’t think anyone picked the Tigers to win, but they are here. So is Perry, and what a great reward for coach Kevin Smith and a testament to the job he has done since arriving at a program that had not won a region championship in 61 years. He lead them to three straight region titles before finishing as the No. 2 seed this year.

Phil’s Pick: Perry 28, Stockbridge 16

Class 3A

Savannah Christian could have the most impressive offense Cedar Grove will see this season, which sets up quite an interesting 3A title matchup. The Saints are looking for a fifth state championship in the last eight seasons, while Savannah Christian seeks its first state title outside of Class A, and the first one overall since 2011.

Phil’s Pick: Cedar Grove 38 Savannah Christian 35 

Class 2A

A lot of fans were anticipating a “grudge match” between Cook and Fitzgerald, but that will not happen. Instead, a lot of credit goes to Pierce County and Rockmart earning their place in the 2A state championship game. Pierce and Rockmart showed they belonged here as they defeated Fitzgerald and Cook, respectively, in the semifinals, and now one of these programs will emerge with the GHSA 2A trophy. Will it be coach Ryan Herring of Pierce, or Rockmart’s Biff Parsons?

Phil’s Pick: Pierce County 37, Rockmart 31

Class 1A-DI

The Wolverines are led by Aaron Philo, who will have one last opportunity to set Georgia’s all-time passing yards record, held by former Cartersville QB Trevor Lawrence. Philo needs 314 yards against Swainsboro to surpass Lawrence. While the potential record is important, PAC’s bigger goal is to come away with the state title, as it did when these same teams faced off last year. You can bet though, that Swainsboro, is itching to avenge that loss. Will they?

Phil’s Pick: Prince Avenue Christian 45, Swainsboro 33

Class 1A-DII

Bowdon is the other Class A team looking to repeat as state champions, and to get there the Red Devils had to get by a Schley County team that I had as our 1A-3A No. 1 for most of the season. They will hook up with the Manchester Blue Devils, who defeated the Red Devils way back in Game 1 to start the season. Manchester’s last state title contest was 26 years ago, in 1997. Which Devils get the nod as we conclude our 2023 Georgia high school state championship predictions?

Phil’s Pick: Bowdon 28, Manchester 21

 

ITG

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