The Honaker Tigers have been waiting 12 years for another shot at winning a state championship. George Wythe has been waiting a decade. The Maroons ended their drought Saturday, winning 17-10 in a hard-fought defensive showdown in Salem.
The teams traded turnovers on the first two drives of the game before George Wythe's Justin Snavely gave the Maroons a 7-0 lead with a short touchdown run. A field goal later made it 10-0 in the first quarter.
Honaker battled back to score the next ten points. On fourth down and long, quarterback Ty Hall floated one near the end zone where Payton Ball made the leaping catch for a score.
Before halftime Honaker kicker Makenzie Phillips booted a 37-yard field goal to knot the game at ten heading into the break.
In the second half George Wythe's defense dominated, pitching a shutout.
The Maroons took the lead early in the fourth quarter on a Dominique Crockett 10-yard touchdown run.
The Tigers had one last chance with seconds remaining but George Wythe's Darnell Williams finished the game off by sacking Hall, giving the Maroons a 17-10 win and a state championship.
"Our guys gave us a great effort," Honaker head coach Doug Hubbard said. "Take your hat off to George Wythe they played hard and made a couple more plays than our guys did."
"All the coaches are telling us not to hang our heads," Honaker quarterback Ty Hall said. "But you fall one game short of the state championship, it is rough on you."
It is the second state title for George Wythe.
"We knew what they were doing," George Wythe head coach H.S. Ingo said. "It is kind of hard to hide anything in week fifteen. Our kids made plays when they had to."