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Norcross beats Colquitt 41-27 to reach state finals

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Norcross Jaquan Frazier (45) signals a No. 1 gesture besides teammates Trenton Jenkins (68) and Rudy Guillen (28) in the final seconds of their 41-27 victory over Colquitt County during the semifinal Class AAAAAA state playoff game in Norcross on Friday.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Norcross Jaquan Frazier (45) signals a No. 1 gesture besides teammates Trenton Jenkins (68) and Rudy Guillen (28) in the final seconds of their 41-27 victory over Colquitt County during the semifinal Class AAAAAA state playoff game in Norcross on Friday.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Norcross Warren McWilliams (34) carries the ball upfield as Colquitt County Tomarico Reese (33) attempts to make the tackle during the semifinal Class AAAAAA state playoff game in Norcross on Friday.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Norcross students Chris Willis and Kendall Jennings (both wearing body paint) cheer on the Blue Devils among other students against Colquitt County during the semifinal Class AAAAAA state playoff game in Norcross on Friday.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Colquitt County quarterback Cole Segraves (13) scrabbles as Norcross Jamarcus Connally (61) leaps in during the semifinal Class AAAAAA state playoff game in Norcross on Friday.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Norcross running back Alvin Kamara (6) carries the ball upfield against Colquitt County during the semifinal Class AAAAAA state playoff game in Norcross on Friday. Kamara had one rushing and one passing touchdown on the night.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Norcross quarterback Joseph Wilber (7) carries the ball past Colquitt County defender Brandon Key (9) during the semifinal Class AAAAAA state playoff game in Norcross on Friday.

NORCROSS -- Joseph Wilber faked a handoff to Alvin Kamara and rolled to his right. There wasn't a Colquitt County defender within 10 yards of him as he walked into a wide open end zone.

It was Wilber's first rushing touchdown of the game and the biggest of his career. The score sealed Norcross' 41-27 win over Colquitt County in the Class AAAAAA semifinals and put the Blue Devils in the state championship game.

"That was pretty sweet," Wilber said. "Everyone was keying in on Alvin, so I give the credit to him. That was probably one of the easiest ones of my career."

It took more than 50 years, but Norcross (14-0) will finally play for a state championship in football. The Blue Devils will play Lovejoy, which defeated North Cobb 63-42, in next week's state championship game at the Georgia Dome.

"We're making history. We set out at the beginning of the season to do something different and we did that tonight," Kamara said. "First Norcross team to make it this far."

Wilber accounted for three touchdowns, but his biggest was in the fourth quarter. Colquitt County was called for a roughing the punter penalty to keep Norcross' drive alive. An unsportsmanlike penalty and offsides by the Packers gave Norcross the ball at the nine. Wilber scored on a three-yard run to put the Blue Devils ahead 41-20 with 7:09 left in the game.

"Coach (Keith) Maloof called it a big boy drive," Wilber said. "He put all the pressure on the offensive line and they carried it for us. In the semifinals, you really have to capitalize on other team's mistakes and we really did on that drive. It was huge for us."

Wilber was 8 of 14 passing for 212 yards with two touchdowns and his one rushing TD. He threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Trey Smith in the first quarter and a 65-yard TD to Kamara in the second.

"He had a great game. He's done that all year long. He's a leader of this team," Maloof said.

A lot of Wilber's success came in play action passes thanks to a strong running performance by Kamara. The senior rushed for 135 yards on 25 carries. He had a one-yard rushing TD in the third quarter to put Norcross ahead 34-13.

"That's the game plan every week, get out early and keep scoring," Kamara said. "If our offense can keep scoring no one can stop us because our defense is going to play."

Kevin Mouhon and the Norcross defense held Colquitt's spread offense to 287 yards of offense. Brandon Garner recovered a Colquitt fumble and returned it 22 yards for a 14-0 Norcross lead in the second quarter.

Mouhon led the defense with eight tackles and one sack, while JaQuan Simpkins made seven tackles and Tommy Tate six. Michael Marshall had two sacks on Packers QB Cole Seagraves, who was 17 of 27 for 148 yards. Backup QB Daniel Mobley threw for 62 yards on 5 of 9 passing.

Mobley threw a nine-yard TD to Ole Miss commitment Bobby Hill to start the fourth quarter. The score shifted the momentum of the game until the Packers (10-4) were called for the roughing the punter call. Norcross continued the drive with Wilber's score to put them in the state finals.

"We knew we would have to survive the third quarter to get to the fourth quarter," Maloof said. "If we could get to the fourth quarter with a two-score lead, we knew we had a great shot at winning this thing."

Colquitt County was in the semifinals for the fourth-straight year, but had its season end to a Gwinnett team for the third year in a row. Brookwood defeated the Packers in the 2010 state finals and Grayson beat them in the semifinals last year before winning the state championship.

"I'm proud of this whole team and we're going to the Dome," Maloof said with a big smile.