The high school careers of Deshaun Watson and Artavis Scott ended in disappointment Friday night, while Korie Rogers, Chris Register and Milan Richard helped lead their teams to state semifinal victories.
Watson's bid to lead Gainseville to its second straight Georgia 5-A title ended with a 20-14 loss to top-ranked, unbeaten Tucker.
Gainesville (12-2) led 14-0 after Watson scored on a nine-yard run and threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jay Gaudlock in the first half. But Tucker rallied and then scored the game-winning touchdown on a 53-yard drive with two minutes remaining.
Watson was held to 20-of-34 passing for 185 yards, and was intercepted four times.
In a battle of unbeatens in the Florida Class 7-A semifinals, Scott led East Lake of Tarpon Springs on a late-game, tying comeback, only to see Dwyer of Palm Beach Gardens win in overtime, 31-24.
Dwyer led 24-10 after scoring a pair of second-half touchdowns. But East Lake rallied, as Scott connected with Michigan-bound teammate George Campbell on a 65-yard touchdown pass, and then intercepted a pass and returned it for a first-and-goal at the 10 to set up East Lake's tying touchdown in the closing minutes.
Dwyer scored on its first overtime possession, and then intercepted an East Lake pass to seal its victory.
In the North Carolina 4-A semifinal, Dudley of Greensboro came up with a late-game stop and edged Charlotte Catholic 20-15. The game matched two of the state's top players in Clemson commitment Register, a linebacker, and UNC-bound running back Elijah Hood.
Hood rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns - well below his season average - against the Dudley defense, but came up short on a fourth-and-two from the Dudley six yard line late in the game.
Register helped lead Dudley's defense to three shutouts and a 7.5 scoring average during the regular season. Hood finished his senior season with 3,690 yards rushing and 53 touchdowns.
Dudley (14-0) will play for the state title against Scotland County (15-0) next weekend at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh.
In the Georgia 3-A semifinals, Rogers helped lead unbeaten, top-ranked Buford to a hard-fought 24-14 win over Callaway.
Callaway led 14-7 at halftime, before Buford regrouped and struck for 17 third-quarter points.
“The seniors and I got into the locker room and told everyone that they (Callaway) couldn’t play Buford football for 48 minutes,” Rogers told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “There are very few that can.”
Buford will face No. 3 Washington County for the state title next Saturday in the Georgia Dome.
Also playing for a Georgia state title next weekend in the Georgia Dome will be Milan Richard and Calvary Day of Savannah, which upset top-rated Eagles Landing Christian of McDonough in the Class 1-A Private School semifinals.
Calvary Day stopped a two-point conversion run in overtime to claim a 35-34 victory. Richard had given his team an early lead with an eight-yard touchdown reception.
Calvary day will play Aquinas in the state championship game.