WATCH: Thomson High School takes state football title

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 12:23 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2022 at 3:12 PM EST
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Friday was a big day for the Thomson Bulldogs, who won the state AA football championship against Fitzgerald.

The game played out under drizzle that at times broke out into full-on rain at Georgia State University.

A huge contingent of fans made the drive to Atlanta, and those who didn’t were able to see the game unfold from watch parties in the team’s hometown.

Across Thomson, signs everywhere wished the team well, and the town virtually shut down for the game. Students didn’t even have to go to school.

After kickoff at noon, Thomson was ahead going into the half, and the team maintained that momentum until the end, delighting the poncho-wearing crowd.

The final score was 32-21.

The team was sent off to Atlanta in style on Thursday, with Thomson residents beyond excited to see the Bulldogs have the opportunity to win state for the first time since 2002.

“It’s just a blessing. A blessing to be a part of this good team and a blessing to win state. It means a lot to bring one back to Thomson. It’s really going to have the community come back together, and I just love it,” said Senior Running Back Jontavis Curry.

Senior Linebacker Travion Curry said: “It’s just a big moment in 20 years. My uncle played in 2002. They won, and I’m just happy to do the same thing he did. I did it with my cousin, with my players, with my team, everybody.”

A giant pep rally was held inside the Thomson gymnasium, then at 5 p.m., the buses departed, escorted by police sirens as the streets were lined by waving fans.

Storm Hunt is a junior defensive back. He said, “It feels great man. It’s a great moment. We haven’t did it in 20 years. It feels good to bring it back home with the community and fans behind us! Oh yeah! Big dog! Woof!”

Students, teachers, staff, administration, and members of the community were there to show how much this playoff run means to them.

Jontavis ran for 243 yards, averaged 14 yards per carry, and scored four touchdowns. Two came in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.

He said, “I was just saying to myself I gotta have it. I’ve got to find a way to score. I’ve gotta make something happen to put my team in a nice position so we can find our way to win the game.”

Travion said, “He’s just made like that! I can’t say it better than that! He’s just that type of player. He’s a big hitter, a fast runner. He just does it all.”

It wasn’t easy for Thomson to make it back to the top. Head Coach Michael Youngblood believes his team wouldn’t be where they are without all of the ups and downs along the way.

“The journey, five years laying the foundation, getting everything in place, trying to hire good coaches, making sure we have what we need, and trying to change the mentality of our kids,” he said.

Hunt said, “I thank my teammates. I thank my team and my coaching staff. I thank the whole community, the fans. I thank everybody.”

Through heavy rainfall and multiple lead changes in the second half, the Bulldogs solidified their legacy.