The NGAC football championship game is set after a pair of semifinals games on Thursday. Heritage will play host to LaFayette in the title game this coming Thursday at 4:30 p.m. It will be a rematch of a Sept. 20 meeting, also played at Heritage, that saw the Generals pull off a narrow 22-14 victory.
LaFayette 20, Gordon Lee 14
The Ramblers would punch their ticket to the finals after getting past the previously-unbeaten Trojans in Chickamauga.
LaFayette took the ball first after a short kickoff and scored on its first series as Mason Russell ran a sweep to the left for 37 yards. Quarterback Zach Barrett would hit Dawson Pendergrass with a pass for the 2-point conversion.
The Ramblers would force a punt on Gordon Lee's first possession, but LaFayette would fumble on the return and Gordon Lee took over in LaFayette territory. With 1:59 left in the period, Nate Dunfee would get in from two yards out before adding the conversion to tie the game at 8-8.
LaFayette would use two long passes to move the ball inside the 5-yard line late in the half, but one final goal-line stand by the Trojan defense in the waning seconds would keep the score deadlocked at intermission.
After forcing a punt on the Trojans' first series of the second half, the Ramblers would drive for the go-ahead score as Barrett would run it in from four yards out with 1:06 left in the third. A missed conversion kept LaFayette's lead at six points.
However, the lead would be short-lived as Dunfee corralled the ensuing kickoff at his own 28 and raced 72 yards for the tying touchdown, but another missed conversion try would keep the score knotted again.
The eventual winning points came with 3:55 remaining as Pendergrass found the endzone on a 13-yard run. Although the conversion failed, the Ramblers would take a slim 20-14 lead and the defense would come up big in the final minute as Barrett picked off a Gordon Lee pass with 52 seconds left to seal the victory.
Barrett finished with 120 yards in the air, while Pendergrass (68 yards) and Russell (56 yards) paced the ground game. Russell also had a big day on the receiving end with 93 yards.
Dawson Pendergrass recorded a team-high eight tackles, followed by Austin Tucker with six, including a sack. Nick Adams and Evan Williams had five tackles apiece, while Williams was credited with a pair of sacks.
Dunfee finished with 14 carries for 75 yards for the Trojans. Bo Rhudy had eight tackles, followed by Kade Cowan and Conner Whitman with five each. Gabe Lowe had four tackles for Gordon Lee.
Heritage 22, Rossville 0
The Generals used a late touchdown to win a tight 20-14 battle against the Bulldogs back on Aug. 30, but the rematch would not be as close.
After an exchange of turnovers to start the game, Heritage finally began to move the ball through the air with Kaden Swope finding Tyler Cheatwood from eight yards out for the first score of the game midway through the second quarter. Paxton McCrary added the two-point conversion.
The Generals would add to the lead with seven seconds left on the first-half clock as McCrary bulled his way in from a yard out. McCrary's halfback pass to Matthew Adair would tack on two more to make it 16-0.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Swope capped the scoring with a 25-yard TD pass to Payton Newman on the first play of the fourth quarter. The conversion attempted failed.
The Heritage defense would do the rest as the Generals advanced to the championship game.
Individual statistics were not available.