Bartow 12U youth football all stars defeat Walton Co. to advance to state title game

The Bartow County 12U youth football all stars defeated Walton County, 38-22, Sunday afternoon in the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) state semifinals. The game was played at Dalton's Harmon Stadium.

Bartow will face the winner of the other semifinal game between Columbia County and Valdosta.

Bartow took an early 12-0 lead on a first quarter, two-yard quarterback keeper by Andrew Nguyen and a seven-yard scoring run by Thomas Knight. The second touchdown came near the mid-point of the second quarter. The extra point failed following both Bartow scores.

Walton County responded with a 10 yard touchdown run and a 2-point PAT kick to cut the Bartow lead to 12-8. Bartow answered with a drive that was culminated on Knight's second touchdown run of the game. This time, it was a 10 yard run that extended the lead to 18-8. Walton County threatened again with the first half clock winding down, but an interception by Bartow and a return to the ten yard line set up Knight's third touchdown of the first half and gave Bartow a 24-8 lead at the intermission.

Walton narrowed the Bartow lead to 24-16 with their opening drive of the second half. The touchdown occurred on a 32-yard run. Walton also successfully converted another two-point kick.

Bartow came back down the field and scored on a 30-yard run by Emmanuel Hayes and held a 30-16 lead. Walton answered again with a scoring drive just before the end of the third quarer. The Bartow lead was 30-22 until the four mintue mark or the fourth period. Bartow's Knight punched in his fourth scoring run of the game from 12 yards to push the Bartow lead back to 38-22 follow the PAT kick.

Walton County mounted one last drive in the waining minutes, but Chris Green snagged an interception for Bartow to secure the victory.

Bartow advances to the GRPA State Championship game next Saturday, Dec. 12, at 2pm, at Dalton High School's Harmon Field.

The Bartow 8U youth football all stars and the 10U Bartow all stars were both eliminated in GRPA state semifinal games Sunday.

In the 8U semifinal, Bartow answered an early Walton touchdown with an 80-yard run by Jakai Baldwin. Isaiah Livsey added the PAT run for Bartow. That would be as close as it would get. Walton scored three more times in the second quarter to take a big lead and cruised to a 31-7 victory. The Bartow 10U all stars also lost their semifinal matchup Sunday with Walton County, 18-0, in Dalton. Walton scored in the first quarter and twice in the third period to eliminate Bartow and advance to the state championship. The Bartow County U12 girls soccer all-stars finished third at the 2015 GRPA state tournament Saturday in Jefferson. Bartow defeated Jefferson 2-1 Friday night, before falling in the state semifinals to Camden County, 2-0.

Calhoun edged Camden County 1-0 in the state title game.

Youth football information is provided to Bartow Sports Zone by CPRD and BCRD and sponsored by CiCi's Pizza of Cartersville.

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