December 10, 2006
Homerville -- For the first time in twelve weeks, the Clinch County football team suffered a loss this weekend.
Not in Saturday's state semifinal game in the Georgia Dome, but in a coin flip.
After Clinch County topped Athens Academy 16-13, the Panthers became very interested viewers in the other Class-A state semifinal.
Not just because they'd be facing the winner for the state championship, but with the right outcome the Panthers could be playing the title game at home.
A win by Commerce would bring the game to Homerville.
A Lincoln County victory meant the teams would have to flip a coin to determine where the game would be played.
The Red Devils of Lincoln County the game and the flip, so the state championship will be played at Buddy Bufford Field in Lincolnton Saturday night at 6 o'clock.
Clinch County now facing a 200-mile drive up US 1 for the title game against the defending state champs.
The Panthers won the championship in 2004, and senior Justin Gainey says they're ready to take the title back.
"That's what everyone is expecting us to do," says Gainey. "Everyone says we've got the team. I think we have the team to go all the way this year."
Chris Davis says, "It's been my dream since I was little to win a state championship, and this is another milestone for us. We've been making plans since early in the year to get here, and now we're finally here, so we're ready."
Clinch County beat Lincoln County on their way to state championships in 2002 and 2004.