Game of the Week: Jefferson vs Marist (State Championship)

Our Game of the Week sends us to Atlanta for the Class 4A Championship between unbeatens Jefferson and Marist.

JEFFERSON

The Dragons are back in the title game for the first time since 2012. They won it all that season, and this year’s team in many ways resembles that group, and might be even better. It starts of course with Malaki Starks, who recorded 5 TD and the game-sealing INT in the end zone in the semifinals win at Benedictine. Jefferson relies heavily on the 5-star recruit. But others like Jordan Perry, Kam Robinson, and Paxton Corkery will be needed to play their best game yet for the Dragons to succeed. Coach Gene Cathcart is playing in his first Georgia HS state title game and third overall (he won 2 in SC). This could be the defining stamp on his illustrious coaching career. His Dragons are the top-ranked offense (44 pts/game) and a top-five defense (10.5).

MARIST

Everything the Dragons are is about the same for Marist. The War Eagles don’t have the flashy names that Jefferson has, but their offense (37.4/game) is very close, and their defense (2.8 pts/game) is by far the best in the entire state, after just pitching their 8th shutout of the season in their semifinal win. This team is well-balanced and have one of the top coaches in state history in Alan Chadwick, who has been at Marist since 1985 and won a pair of titles (’89, ’03) and gotten to 4 others (’87, ’06, ’08, ’17). This program is top 5 in state history in terms of wins. Long story short, Marist knows how to win.

BY THE NUMBERS (2020)

JEFFERSON

  • 14-0 (8-AAAA Champions)
  • Region Standings: 1st
  • 44.0 OFFENSE AVG *#1 in Class 4A
  • 10.5 DEFENSE AVG *top 5 in Class 4A
  • #1 State Ranking

MARIST

  • 12-0 (6-AAAA Champions)
  • Region Standings: 1st
  • 37.4 OFFENSE AVG *top 5 in Class 4A
  • 2.8 DEFENSE AVG *top in State of GA
  • #2 State Ranking

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Be looking for highlights post-game late tonight as well as a story recapping the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. You can also follow us on Twitter (@BlitzSportsGa) for live score updates (WiFi pending).

OUR PREDICTION

Why stop now? Jefferson is unbeaten, and while Marist is also, the Dragons have been amazing against top-10 ranked teams. This season, the Dragons have gone 6-0 against ranked opponents in 2020. On the flip side, Marist also has won 7 games against similar opponents. Of similar opponents, the pair has Flowery Branch and Hapeville Charter as common foes. Here’s the breakdown for what it’s worth. Jefferson beat FB 40-10 and Hapeville 35-0. Marist won against FB 24-0 and against Hapeville 30-0. This is an amazing matchup, but we’re going with gut and heart. OUR PICK: JEFFERSON

DO WE BRING LUCK?

For Jefferson, we’ve captured exactly 11 games, and the Dragons are 10-1 in those, with the lone loss coming against Monroe Area in 2018.

DETAILS OF THE MATCHUP

TIME: 3:30 PM Kickoff
PLACE: Center Parc Credit Union Stadium / Atlanta, GA
LAST MEETING: N/A
ALL-TIME RECORD: N/A
RECORDS: #1 Jefferson Dragons (14-0; 8-AAAA Champions); #2 Marist War Eagles (12-0; 6-AAAA Champions)

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

This is a first-time matchup between the programs. It doesn’t need any extra sauce or hype. It’s the 4A State Title game, and a #1-versus-#2!

TEAM LEADERS (2020 PLAYER STATS)

JEFFERSON

PASSING
Malaki Starks (542 yds, 11 TD, 3 INT; 43% completion)
Carter Stephenson (49 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT; 20% completion)

RUSHING
Malaki Starks (1,457 yds, 24 TD, 9.8 YPC)
Kolton Jones (530 yds, 4 TD, 11.8 YPC)
Jordan Perry (405 yds, 3 TD, 8.6 YPC)
Reese Johnson (370 yds, 2 TD, 5.4 YPC)
Carter Stephenson (279 yds, 9 TD, 6.8 YPC)
Bowman Horn (202 yds, 1 TD, 7.8)
Kam Robinson (174 yds, 4 TD, 10.9 YPC)
Paxton Corkery (146 yds, 3 TD, 7.0 YPC)

RECEIVING
Spencer Neese (201 yds, 4 TD, 6 rec)
Jordan Perry (181 yds, 4 TD, 7 rec)
Dawson Crawley (113 yds, 2 TD, 3 rec)
Kolton Jones (52 yds, 1 TD, 2 rec)
Levin Jones (44 yds, 1 TD, 2 rec)

DEFENSIVE LEADERS
Rem Maxwell (70 TKL, 4 TFL, 1 INT, 2 FFum, 1 FumRec)
Austin Redmon (57 TKL, 5.5 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FFum, 1 FumRec)
Kadin Bailey (50 TKL, 14.5 TFL, 6.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 FumRec)
Paxton Corkery (49 TKL, 11.5 TFL, 5 Sacks, 1 FFum, 2 FumRec, 1 Blk)
Jaheim Hardy (45 TKL, 7 TFL, 2.5 Sacks, 1 FFum, 1 FumRec)
Malaki Starks (37 TKL, 3 TFL, 2 INT)
Jordan Perry (32 TKL, 5.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 4 INT, 1 FFum)

MARIST

PASSING
Champ Davis (400 yds, 3 TD, 3 INT)
Hayden Richardson (346 yds, 7 TD, 0 INT)

RUSHING
Lincoln Parker (450 yds, 9 TD, 5.5 YPC)
Champ Davis (426 yds, 6 TD, 4.6 YPC)
Hayden Richardson (327 yds, 4 TD, 4.5 YPC)

RECEIVING
Derek McDonald (181 yds, 2 TD, 10 rec)
George Parker (125 yds, 2 TD, 7 rec)

DEFENSIVE
Grey Taylor (46 TKL, 4 TFL)
Derek McDonald (42 TKL, 5 TFL)

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