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Stephenson, Lithonia Advance to Middle School Title Game

The schools will play in the Trail to the Title championship game on Nov. 10.

Semifinals victories on Saturday at Hallford Stadium moved the defending
champions Stephenson Jaguars and Lithonia Bulldogs into the Trail to the
Title championship game next Saturday (Nov. 10) at 10:30 a.m. at Hallford
Stadium.

The Jaguars (8-1) advanced to the championship game with a 16-14 victory
over the Bethune Lions (7-1) in the first semifinal game at Hallford over
the weekend.

Bethune entered the game undefeated and forced Stephenson to punt on the
opening series. Timothy Boyd caught the punt on the move and raced 70
yards for a touchdown to give the Lions a 6-0 lead with 4:16 to play in
the first quarter.

Stephenson, looking to become a five-time county champion, answered with a
14-play 64-yard drive as quarterback Xavier Shepard found tight end Tariq
Ricks for a 10-yard scoring toss to tie the game with 5:40 to play in the
first half. Edwin Baker ran in the two-point conversion and the Jaguars
took the lead for good at 8-6.

Shepard set up his own nine-yard touchdown run with a 30 yard interception
return late in the second quarter as Stephenson extended the lead to 16-6
at the half as Myles Hannah ran in the two-point conversion.

Stephenson stopped Bethune’s opening drive of the second half at the
Stephenson 33and proceeded to run out the remaining 3:41 of the third
quarter and the first 4:03 of the fourth quarter with a 14-play drive
which the Lions stopped at the Bethune 15 yard line.

Bethune put together a scoring drive keyed by passes of 19 yards and 30
yards from Javonte Lay to Quintarious Terrell and Sammie Mays,
respectively, to get to the Jaguar 20. Lay went the final 20 yards and
then connected with Terrell on a two-point pass to cut the lead to 16-14
with 1:10 to play in the game.

An onside kick was just short of 10 yards and Stephenson took over to run
out the final one minute of the game to get the win.

Lithonia 32, Salem 20

A pair of No. 3 seeds met in the second semifinal game with the Lithonia
Bulldogs advancing to the championship game for the second time with a
32-20 victory over the Salem Lions.

Lithonia (7-2) took the lead on the first play of the game as Deonte Jones
went around the right side and raced 80 yards for a touchdown. Courtney
Lott ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

The lead expanded to 16-0 as Kamrie Mullins scored on a four-yard
touchdown run and Jones added the two-point conversion with 5:27 to play
in the half. The score was set up by a Salem fumble at its own 18.

Salem (5-4) cut the lead to 16-8 just before the half as Carlito Gonzalez
extended his reach and managed to get one foot into the front corner of
the end zone on a 15 yard pass. Aaron Sterling ran in the two-point
conversion to cut the lead in half.

Lithonia opened the second half with a 41-yard drive completed by a
one-yard touchdown run from Jones and a two-point run by Lott to take a
24-8 lead.

The lead went to 32-8 on Lott’s 29-yard touchdown run with 7:46 to play
and Jones added the two-point run.

Salem managed two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter as Gonzalez hauled
in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Savion Knowlton and Knowlton scored on a
five-yard run which was set up by a 46 yard pass to Gonzalez. The two
scores made the final of 32-20.

Trail to the Title Semifinals

Saturday, Nov. 3

Stephenson (8-1) 16, Bethune (7-1) 14

Lithonia (7-2) 32, Salem (5-4) 20

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