The Swainsboro Tigers along with their faithful fans headed up to Atlanta this past Monday to take on Prince Avenue Christian in the State Championship game. This was an outstanding game between the two best A-D1 teams in the state, played in the biggest non-collegiate football stadium in the state, Mercedes-Benz stadium. Swainsboro fans showed up and showed out in this one, loud and proud from start to finish. The Tigers received the ball first but fumbled on a sack and Prince Avenue recovered. Two plays later, the Athens team hit over the top for a passing touchdown taking the lead, 7-0. It didn’t take long for the Tigers to respond, as Demello Jones caught a screen pass from Kason Edenfield and took it 60 yards for the score. The two-point conversion failed, and the Tigers trailed 7-6. Prince Avenue drove it the length of the field scoring again, then forcing a Swainsboro punt, and adding another quick touchdown. As the first quarter closed, the Tigers found themselves down 21-6. Things started looking ugly when Prince Avenue drove it to the Swainsboro five-yard line again, but Demello Jones jumped the pass, intercepted it, and took it 96 yards for a touchdown to make it a 21-12 game. The Swainsboro defense got a stop and gave the offense a chance to play catch up. They did just that as Jones punched it in after a good drive and the Tigers found themselves only down three at the break. Prince Avenue received the second half kickoff and extended their lead to 28-18 to start the third quarter. The Tigers needed their offense to respond to keep them in the game, and they put together a five-minute drive, capping it off with another Demello Jones touchdown, his fourth of the day. The back-and-forth affair continued, but Swainsboro couldn’t find the brakes to stop the Prince Avenue offense, which no one else had, and after another touchdown, PAC led 35-26. The Tigers needed to keep chipping away, but their efforts were derailed by an interception on the third play of the drive. PAC capitalized and scored again, extending their lead to 42-26. Swainsboro put together a quick drive as Qin Brown scored from 35 yards out. In the charge to tack on the 2-point conversion, officials called the Tigers inches short of the goal line. The call was reviewed but remained unchanged. Prince Avenue Christian went down and added one more score with two minutes left to make it a 49-32 ballgame, and as time expired, the Tigers left the field having battled through four remarkable quarters. The season ended one step short of a trophy, but this loss doesn’t define the incredible journey the Tigers had. This team defied the odds all year and made it back to the Championship game. That is an amazing accomplishment, and it leaves no doubt that the Tigers will be back! Congratulations to Coach Roberts, all the Assistant Coaches and every member of the Swainsboro Tiger Football team for everything you’ve accomplished!