Joseph Farrar threw two touchdown passes and ran for another but the Tigers faded in the second half, resulting in a 52-28 setback to Creekside.
Dexter Knox ran for 164 yards and five touchdowns on 26 carries for the Seminoles, who captured the school’s first state title and prevented Tucker (14-1) from claiming its third championship in program history.
“From this point anything less than this is sort of unacceptable,” Creekside coach Olten Downs said. “We are just setting the standard for Creekside football. We want to be a power in Georgia.”
“It was a blessing to even be in this predicament,” Knox said. “Through the death of our teammate (De’Antre Turman) we all came together and it made us even closer. Everybody fought for one cause and we got it done.”
From the start and going into the half, the Tigers appeared on pace to win their third state crown in six seasons.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Tucker moved the ball 72 yards before Farrar pushed his way into the end zone for a 1-yard score and a 7-0 advantage. Then as a response to the Seminoles’ first TD, a 1-yard run by Knox, Farrar found Dominick Sanders wide open over the middle for an eventual 38-yard touchdown completion and a 14-7 lead.
But Knox would reach the end zone again before the half, leading to a tied score. Then on the first play of the second half, the Tigers would lose the lead for good when Cameron Jackson returned the kickoff 99 yards for a 21-14 edge.
On the second play of the ensuing possession, Tucker would continue to lose momentum when Elijah Sullivan lost a fumble, resulting in a 16-yard touchdown run by Knox two plays later for a double-digit margin.
But after a successful hook-and-latter on the next drive, Yaquis Shelley halved the deficit with a 21-yard run with 7:53 left in the third quarter. However, the Tigers would reach the end zone only one more time (Sanders caught a 65-yard TD pass from Farrar), while the Seminoles got there three more times.