The Camden Fairview Cardinals defeated the Watson Chapel Wildcats by the score of 34-21 Friday night to advance to the Class 5A State Championship game.
This is the second year in a row Coach Buck James has led his team to the championship game. The Cardinals lost to Monticello in last years championship game.
The Cardinals started off on the right foot when Derek Keaton returned the opening kickoff 78 yards down the sidelines to the Wildcat seven yard line. Brandon Keaton scored two plays later from two yards out for a 6-0 lead with 11:18 left in the first quarter.
After stopping the Wildcats on fourth-and-three on the 48 yard line, the Cardinals would go on a 10 play drive, capped off by a four yard Derek Keaton run.
The Wildcats would finally get on the board with 9:52 left in the half following a 5 yard Aaron Lagrone run. The Cats would attempt and convert a two-point conversion to bring themselves within six points of the Cardinals, and to the halftime score of 13-8.
Camden Fairview's Ryan Todd would recover a fumbled snap in the end zone with 9:18 remaining in the third quarter to give the Cardinals a comfortable 20-8 lead.
The Wildcats would attempt a comeback, and pulled within six points with 7:31 to play, but the Cardinals had too many big plays to include a 62 yard pass from Brandon Keaton to Dominique Reed.
Derek Keaton would pick off a Kyle Coleman pass with 2:47 to play, and just 17 seconds later, Brandon Keaton threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Wooten to make it 34-21.
"I'm just proud of our football team." said Camden Fairview Coach Buck James. "We get a chance to redeem ourselves from last year and our kids had this on their mind from the beginning of the year and basically have reached their goal of trying to get back there. Now we've got to win a state championship."
The Cardinals will take on the Greenwood Bulldogs next Saturday at Noon for the Class 5A State Championship.