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Walton Holds on to Reach State Finals

The Raiders downed East Cobb rival Lassiter 30-24 Friday to advance to the Class AAAAA title game against Grayson.

Walton Holds on to Reach State Finals

PHOTO GALLERY: From the game

Three years ago, quarterback Eddie Printz and running back Tyren Jones were teammates on the Junior Wildcats eighth-grade football team.

A year ago, they were teammates on Lassiter's football team.

On Friday, the two juniors met at Walton's Raider Valley in the Georgia High School Association's AAAAA state football semifinals.

The rematch from their regular season was a cliffhanger, unlike Walton's 34-10 regular season win in October. 

The Raiders bolted out to a 21-3 lead, but Lassiter kept hanging around and had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds. 

However, the Trojans couldn't force overtime, as Walton held on for a 30-24 victory before a full house at Raider Valley. 

For the first time in school history, Walton (14-0) is headed to the state championship game. The Raiders will play Grayson, which edged Colquitt 35-31 Friday in another thriller. 

Lassiter (10-4) playing in the semifinals for the first time, drove all the way to the Walton 5 where it had first-and-goal with 2:10 to play. 

But an illegal motion penalty against the Trojans pushed the ball back to the 9, and their fourth down efficiency faltered as Printz couldn't complete a pass in the end zone. 

Jones scored two touchdowns for the Raiders, including a 66-yarder in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game-winner. 

The biggest concern for Walton going into the finals is the health of senior cornerback and wide receiver Zach Blaylock, who suffered an elbow injury making an interception in the first quarter and did not return. 

East Cobb Patch will have more coverage on Saturday, including game photos.

Check out Patch's playoff scoreboard for all of Friday's scores.

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