By David Thatcher, Clarion Staff Reporter
The 2022 NCAA Football Championship took place Monday night, January 10 between the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide.
Although Georgia lost 41-24 in a disastrous SEC Title game against Alabama, the Bulldogs were able to survive the playoffs to make it to the NCAA championship to face Alabama once again.
In the rematch both teams had amazing defenses in the first half, making the score 6 to 9, Alabama. The third quarter began and offenses picked up some pace with their drives, but still no touchdowns. However, the fourth quarter is where Georgia came alive after a fumble was recovered by Alabama resulting in a touchdown. Shortly after, the offense scored a touchdown with a 40-yard pass interference followed by a 40-yard passing touchdown. Georgia’s defense continued to play extremely well, and stopped Alabama’s offense from scoring another field goal after Georgia’s previous 40-yard touchdown and game winning interception returned for a touchdown (Otherwise known as a pick-six) by Kelee Ringo to ensure that Georgia is this year’s National Champions.
The Championship victory ended Georgia’s 41-year championship drought. Even more impressive is Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV: Bennett had a lot of talent out of high school – and small in size – but was able to become a preferred walk-on for the Georgia Bulldogs. He ended up transferring to Jones County Junior College after Georgia signed Justin Fields to compete with Jake Fromm who was the starting quarterback for Georgia at the time. After a season with Jones County Junior College Bennett returned back to Georgia as a walk-on again. Finally he had an opportunity to start after a lot of other issues occurred with the quarterbacks ahead of him. This resulted in him having a fantastic game, and, after a couple more fantastic games Bennett became the starting quarterback for Georgia.
This was a fantastic ending to the NCAA Football playoffs with a game that had great defenses throughout, an offensive explosion by the Georgia Bulldogs in the later fourth quarter, and a championship trophy for the Bulldogs to take back home.