The Liberty County Recreation Department’s 8 and under All-Star football team defeated Carrollton 31-12 to win the Georgia Recreation & Parks Association (GRPA) Class B State Championship on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Liberty advanced to the championship game as the GRPA District 2 Champ and winner of the GRPA South Regional. Carrollton was the winner of the GRPA North Regional and proved to be the toughest opponent that Liberty faced in the six game journey to the State title. The game was played at Effingham County High School and Liberty struck early when Jaylen White scampered 60 yards to pay dirt on the second play of the game.
The other half of Liberty’s deadly offensive duo, John Miller III, converted the PAT for a 7-0 lead. On Carrollton’s first offensive play, a host of Liberty defenders stripped the ball from the running back and Liberty recovered the fumble on Carrollton’s 22 yard line. Liberty converted this turnover into another touchdown and an early 13-0 lead.
Carrollton would come back with two touchdowns in the second quarter and the score at the half stood at Liberty 19, Carrollton 12. In a scoreless third quarter, a tough Liberty defense would twice stop Carrollton inside the Liberty 10 yard line. The Carrollton defense also stiffened in the second half and stopped Liberty cold until mid-way through the fourth quarter when White again broke a long TD run to give Liberty a 26-12 lead. The Liberty defense sealed the win by stopping Carrollton on their own 20 yard line on the following possession. White then scored another TD for a final score of 31-12, Liberty County.
The team was comprised of the top players from each of the four 8 & under teams in the LCRD 2019 football program. The team won 6 straight GRPA games to capture the championship, starting with the District 2 tournament held in Liberty County on November 19-26 where Liberty defeated Wayne County 13-0, Coffee County 27-6, and Glynn County 13-0. As the District 2 Champ, the team advanced to the GRPA South Regionals on December 7-8 in Effingham where Liberty defeated host Effingham County 13-0 and District 1 Champ Swainsboro, 26-0. Carrollton advanced to the North Regionals as the District 4 Champ and defeated District 6 Champ Jones County, 21-12 in Walton County on December 7-8 to advance to the State Championship.
The Liberty team featured outstanding players, cheerleaders, and coaches with great support from parents and others from Liberty County that made the trip to support the team.
In other all-star football action, the Liberty County 10 and under team advanced to the GRPA District 2 Championship, but was defeated by Ware County 20-0. The 10U squad defeated Wayne County 19-12 and Glynn County 14-0 to advance to the district championship. The Liberty County 12 & Under squad began District 2 game with a tough 22-12 loss to eventual state champ, Glynn County.