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Dublin Fighting Irish searching for 5th state championship

It's been over a decade since the Fighting Irish won a football state title. The drought can end on Friday.

DUBLIN, Ga. — Dublin Head Football Coach Roger Holmes remembers the last time the Fighting Irish won a state football championship back in 2006. In his nearly two decades of coaching the green-and-gold, he's noticed a troubling trend in playoff outcomes.

"It's been five different times in my 18 years here in Dublin, that the team that put us out of the playoffs won the state championship, so the road to the state championship seems like it runs through Dublin," Holmes said.

Dublin will face a familiar opponent on Friday afternoon, a Brooks County team they've already beaten 49-35 this year. Holmes refuses to let his kids relax, because another trend has developed in championship rematches.

"I reminded them in the last 13 games, where teams have played a championship game and they've already played in the regular season, 10 times the team that lost in the regular season had won in the state championship," Holmes said. "I think that's worth taking note that teams weren't as focused as they need to be or as prepared as they needed to be."

Senior tailback Marcus Adams hasn't forgotten the Brooks County game. He had 157 yards in the matchup, but he's heard plenty of chirping from the other side.

"I've been talking to the quarterback, me and him are very good friends. He was like, 'They're ready to see the game, ready to see how it feels to get us again,'" Adams said.

Adams is a part of the three-headed monster backfield that features two 1,000 yard rushers and 2,000 yard back JaQues Evans. They'll lean heavily on each other to bring home a title for the Fighting Irish.

"One week you stop one, the other two is gonna hit you strong. You stop me, Ques is gonna hit you strong. You stop Zion, I'm gonna hit you hard, but it's amazing," Adams said.

The entire teams knows how important a state championship means to the city and Laurens County. They want to make the green-and-gold proud.

"It means a lot, I've been repping the green-and-gold ever since middle school. It's a big part. I love my fans and all. I just love Dublin," said runningback Zion Kemp.

The quest for a state championship can end Friday. The Fighting Irish will play at 1 p.m. in Georgia State Stadium.

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