Distance to Georgia Dome: 99 miles.
Head coach: Kevin Kinsler (59-6 in five seasons overall and at Northside).
Record: 13-1 overall, 8-1 in Region 2-AAAAA, first place.
All-time record: 436-161-6.
State championships: 2 (2006, 2007).
Last championship game appearance: 2009, 31-3 lost to Camden County.
Road to the championship: Beat Northside-Columbus 48-0, Dalton 30-21, Glynn Academy 31-7, Allatoona 30-21.
FYI: Northside holds the state record for consecutive 10-win seasons at 17.
Date Team Score
Aug. 22 North Cobb 38-20
Sept. 5 at Evans 38-6
Sept. 12 Lakeside-Evans 38-7
Sept. 19 at Jones County 37-45
Sept. 26 Greenbrier 55-0
Oct. 3 at Richmond Academy 24-7
Oct. 17 Warner Robins 24-21
Oct. 25 Grovetown 49-14
Oct. 31 at Cross Creek 51-0
Nov. 7 at Houston County 34-33
Nov. 14 Northside-Columbus 30-21
Nov. 21 Dalton 30-21
Nov. 28 Glynn Academy 31-7
Dec. 5 Allatoona 30-21
Jones County, 37-45
Since this loss, quarterback Tobias Oliver has matured, the running game has become dominant, the defense solidified, and the Eagles have been steady on special teams.
Series history/last meeting: First meeting.
Common opponents: Mays beat Jones County 44-41; Jones County beat Northside 45-37.
Distance to Georgia Dome: 9 miles.
Head coach: Corey Jarvis (20-6 in two seasons at Mays; 81-35 in 10 seasons overall).
Record: 12-2 overall, 3-1 in Region 6-B, tied for first, third seed.
All-time record: 201-159.
State championships: None
Last championship game appearance: None.
Road to the championship: Beat South Paulding 26-19, Ware County 21-18, Jones County 44-41, Stockbridge 30-15.
FYI: Mays’ first season was 1981, and since then, the Raiders have gone through 12 coaches before Jarvis took over.
Date Team Score
Aug. 23 Langston Hughes 7-27
Aug. 29 Glenn Hills 40-0
Sept. 5 at M.L. King 34-0
Sept. 20 Southwest DeKalb 27-8
Sept. 27 Lovejoy 40-35
Oct. 3 at Creekside 7-13
Oct. 17 at Banneker 47-0
Oct. 24 Carver-Atlanta 35-14
Oct. 31 Tri-Cities 34-6
Nov. 7 Miller Grove 29-6
Nov. 14 at South Paulding 26-19
Nov. 21 at Ware County 21-18
Nov. 28 Jones County 44-41
Dec. 5 at Stockbridge 30-15
Ware County, 21-18
The upstart Raiders were neither tired from the four-hour trip nor intimidated, and they marched out to a 21-3 lead and survived the Gators’ storming back.
WHEN NORTHSIDE HAS THE BALL
There’s no mystery about the Eagles’ plan, which is to run the ball about 50 or 60 times and throw it about a dozen times.
Northside doesn’t throw much, but Mays is solid up front and has 43 sacks. That means Tobias Oliver could have a big game on quarterback draws, but he could also face a change in strategy of more patience because of the Eagles’ offense. Then again, the Raiders are likely to load up to stop Willie Jordan up the middle, which can open things up.
Oliver was a little off against Allatoona and rarely has back-to-back such games.
Key stat: The Eagles average 50.8 rushes per game, and Jordan had 41 in the semifinal win over Allatoona.
WHEN MAYS HAS THE BALL
The Raiders run about 63 percent of the time, and they have had some sluggish games on the ground, with less than 125 yards in five games and less than 200 in 10. But a defense can’t key on one runner, since two team for 105 yards per game and two more for about 70. Charlie Patrick, however, had three times as many touchdowns as any teammate.
Northside struggled in pass coverage and with some tackling in the fourth quarter against Allatoona, which put the game in serious jeopardy. The Raiders aren’t as consistent throwing the ball, but have nice big-play ability and can win through the air.
Key stat: Northside has allowed an average of 40.8 yards on the ground the past four games.
Northside’s Justin Alonso has had a superb season as place-kicker and punter, and he knows pressure, having hit the game-winning extra-point against Houston County.
Mays averages about 5 fewer yards per punt than Alonso.
Alonso has made nine straight field goals, including three in the semifinal, and has yet to miss an extra point. Mays has missed seven.
Both teams are respectable in the return game and in coverage.
Key stat: Mays has gone for two a fair amount of the time, and converted eight times, but has made it only once in the playoffs.
Northside has had more dominant performances on a consistent basis while also showing the ability to hold on in close games. Mays has some blowouts, as well, but it is riding the momentum of tremendous confidence in winning close games in the playoffs under varied circumstances.
If the Eagles get the same kind of lead they had against Allatoona, by 20 entering the fourth quarter, they can’t come close to taking their foot off of the gas. Mays is unlikely to be phased by trailing.
All phases of special teams -- from points after touchdowns to field position -- will be huge.