It was a game that saw a lot of offense as well as a lot of big plays, but in the end it was Gretna's inability to stop the running attack of Gate City that helped the Blue Devils win their fifth state title, 27-17.
Right from the start Gate City did what they've been doing all year long. With a running back tandem made up of Dusty Clark and Joseph Vaughn, the Blue Devils drove the field in the opening series that took much of the first quarter to jump to an early 7-0 lead. But it didn't take long for the Hawks to answer, needing just three plays from senior Nick Miller to put seven on the board for themselves.
Gate City regained the lead on a Nick Bowen 37 yard touchdown pass to Vaughn. They put together another drive that lead to a field goal by Logan Byrd and was able to come up with two big fourth down stops to go to halftime with a 17-7 lead.
Gretna kept trying to make a comeback, and even cut the lead down to three on a one-handed catch by Tony Miller which turned into 64 yard touchdown pass from Nick Miller to make the score 20-17.
But Gate City answered again. On a fourth down and five Bowen connected with Vaughn one more time for 37 yards and the score to make it 27-17.
Gate City's running game ate up most of the clock, which helped keep Nick Miller and Gretna's rapid-fire offense off the field. The Blue Devils also converted five fourth-downs. Vaughn and Clark rushed for over 200 yards combined and accounted for all three Gate City touchdowns.
This is the first time Gretna has lost in a state championship game. Despite the loss, Nick Miller still had over 300 yards, both in the air and on the ground.
This is the fifth state championship in school history for Gate City.
"It was a good game, we just didn't make the plays and they did. They've got an awfully good football team and they deserve to be state champions," said Gretna Head Coach Kevin Saunders.