(WSAV) – Five area teams came into the week with a chance to earn a spot in their respective GHSA state championship games.

Only one squad is left standing after Friday nights games — the Benedictine Cadets.

Facing North Oconee in the GHSA 4A semifinals, the Cadets discovered quickly they were not going to be able to blow this team out like they did in early September. The Titans jumped out to an early 14-7 lead and even took another lead midway through the second half, but Benedictine had an answer for everything North Oconee threw its way and pulled off the 42-32 win at Memorial Stadium.

“A year ago, we lost in this situation in the semifinals and it hurt,” Benedictine head football coach Danny Britt said after the game. “They came back in January and said ‘we have one goal and that is to win a state championship.’. Being able to help them reach that goal is just tremendous and there was a lot of relief there.”

Benedictine, ranked as the top team in all of 4A by several outlets, will face Carver-Columbus in the state title game next Friday at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

“Every single day since losing on this field last year, it was about go, not just get to a state championship, but win it as well,” Cadets starting quarterback Holden Geriner said after the game. “We are going to do everything we can to have a great week of practice and go an, hopefully, we are going to win that thing.”

While Benedictine survived and earned the right to play one more game, it was the end of the road for Pierce County, Appling County, Swainsboro, Metter, and Pinewood Christian.

Pierce County, the defending 3A state champions, fell in a last-second heartbreaker to Carver-Atlanta by the final 19-17. On the other side of the 3A bracket, Appling County lost to Cedar Grove 27-6.

In 2A, Swainsboro’s magical postseason run was ended by Fitzgerald 27-6. For the second consecutive year, the Metter Tigers fell in the 1A-Public semifinals with a surprising 49-7 loss to Brooks County at home.

In the GISA 3A state championship game, Pinewood Christian ran into a powerhouse John Milledge Academy team and fell 21-0.

Here is the full playoff scoreboard from Friday night:

GHSA 4A semifinals North Oconee 32, Benedictine 42 (Benedictine advances to 4A state championship and will play Carver-Columbus in Atlanta next Friday at 3:30 p.m.)

GHSA 3A semifinals: Carver-Atlanta 19, Pierce County 17

GHSA 3A semifinals: Appling County 6, Cedar Grove 27

GHSA 2A semifinals: Fitzgerald 27, Swainsboro 6

GHSA 1A-Public semifinals: Brooks County 49, Metter 7

GISA 3A State Championship: Pinewood Christian 0, John Milledge Academy 21