Marion Co. tops Charlton Co. for Georgia Class A football title

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ATLANTA - Lorenzo Smothers caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Justin Eckert in the fourth quarter, and Marion County won the Georgia Class A Public School football championship with a 12-3 victory over Charlton County on Saturday.

The title came in just the eighth season for Marion County (13-1), and the Eagles used their defense to win it in their first trip to the Georgia Dome. Charlton County (9-5) had just six first downs and 137 yards.

Smothers gained 105 yards on 20 carries, caught two passes for 31 yards and also intercepted a pass for Marion County, which has won four straight region titles under coach Mike Swaney

Marion County took a 5-3 lead on a safety midway in the third quarter and scored the game's first touchdown early in the fourth on Harrington's pass to Smothers that capped a six-play 53-yard drive.

A.J. Wells set up the safety by dropping a punt at the Charlton County 2-yard line and kicked a first-quarter field goal as well as the extra point following the touchdown.

Curtis Nixon returned the opening kickoff 49 yards and Charlton County took a quick lead on a 25-yard field goal by Thomas Johnson.

Marion County, though, tied it at 3-3 with 12 seconds left in the first half on a 22-yard field goal by Wells set up by Trae Swanson's 68-yard catch and run from Justin Eckert.

Wells and Johnson both missed kicks in the second quarter, with Wells wide right from 49 yards and Johnson wide left from 30 yards.

Andrew Lee rushed for 118 yards on 25 carries for Charlton County, but Trae Harrington completed just 2 of 19 passes for 8 yards.

Harrington completed just 4 of 15 passes, they went for 131 yards.

Charlton County won state titles in 1999 and 2004-06, the last three in Class AA. The Indians have never missed the playoffs under coach Rich McWhorter, who is 250-62-2 in 24 seasons.

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