Clinch County Panthers (12-1) vs. Irwin County Indians (10-2-1)
Friday, December 11, 2015
The Georgia Dome
Regular Season Stats:
Clinch County: 40.9 points per game; 17.5 points allowed per game
Irwin County: 30.0 points per game; 16.0 points allowed per game
Clinch County: 27.7 points per game; 20.3 points allowed per game
Irwin County: 25.5 points per game; 18.0 points allowed per game
The GHSA Class A State Championship will be the only one of its kind. On Friday, two teams that hail from the Southern portion of the state (and two that are covered by In the Game Magazine) will square off as the Clinch County Panthers take on the Irwin County Indians.
Currently riding a nine-game win streak, the Panthers come into the stat title game after a 26-19 victory over the Commerce Tigers. Clinch County, led by the ground efforts of quarterback Charles McClelland, took to the road last week to dispose of the Tigers in a close matchup. While the team struggled to move the ball early, the Panther eventually found their groove behind a game-high 122 rushing yards on 16 carries for McClelland.
Clinch County will certainly have their work cut out for them come Friday afternoon. While they are in the midst of a streak, lining up across the line of scrimmage will be the Irwin County Indians, the only team to defeat the Panthers in 2015.
The Indians come into Friday’s championship battle winners of their last seven games, including a close 19-15 win over the Emanuel County Institute Bulldogs (Twin City, Ga.) in the semifinals; senior running back DJ Pollard powered the Indians’ offense with two touchdowns.
In their previous matchup, the Indians charged into Homerville and walked away with a 28-12 win on September 18. A key factor in Friday’s outcome could be Georgia commit Chauncey Manac. After missing games for a stretch of the end of the regular season, the Clinch star has returned. Already making his presence felt in the semifinals against Commerce, his talents will surely bolster the emerging skill of sophomore Panther John Mincey.
Clinch County returns to the big stage for the first time since 2010. In their last appearance, the Panthers took home a title after a 24-14 win over the Savannah Christian Raiders (Savannah, Ga.). This will be the second consecutive championship game for Irwin County. In last year’s title game, the Indians fell to the Hawkinsville Red Devils, 15-6. A win would give Irwin County its first title win since 1975.
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In the Game/Web-Only Content
Familiar Foes: Clinch County Seeks Redemption for Sole Loss of Season
By James Washington