Class 5A: Allatoona 10, Glynn Academy 6

Photo by Craig Sager II

Allatoona held Glynn Academy scoreless in the Class AAAAA state championship until the final play of the game and clinched the first state title in school history with a 10-6 victory Friday night at the Georgia Dome.  Glynn Academy attempted a free kick that bounced off the right goal post to close the first half and the teams went into the locker room scoreless. Allatoona gained just 42 yards in the first half and never reached the redzone. Glynn Academy’s offense gained just 71 yards in the first two quarters and 31 of the yards came on a Deejay Dallas pass Morris Demery that later resulted in a punt. Allatoona would find offense in the second half, but Glynn Academy never found answers against a Bucs defense that frustrated the Terrors all night.

“ [Our defense] had a great plan,” said Allatoona head coach Gary Varner. “They were quiet and confident all week assuring me ‘we think we have a plan’, ‘we think we have a plan’. I knew we wouldn’t be able to move the ball that much on them so I knew we would have to win on the defensive side of the ball.”

Allatoona received the opening possession of the second half and the Bucs set the tone with a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Quarterback Brandon Rainey found Derrand Garrett for a 23-yard pickup that brought the Bucs down to the 1-yard line and Rainey dove in from 1-yard out for his 21st rushing touchdown of the season.

The teams traded possessions after the Bucs score and Allatoona forced another punt that was fielded at their own 36 yard-line. Brandon Archibald picked up five yards on 1st down and it looked like the Bucs were about to start another long drive. On 2nd down, however, fullback Jalen Parrish fumbled after a nice gain that ended with a massive collision with Kshawn Walthour and Glynn Academy’s Walter Thomas recovered the loose ball at midfield.

The Allatoona defense responded once again and forced Kendall Cross to fumble three plays later to give the Bucs the ball back. Parrish shook off the lost fumble and came up with big plays down the stretch to keep the offense moving, including a timely 21-yard reception in the fourth quarter.

“He [Jalen] had that fumble and you could just see the energy go out of him on the sideline,” said Varner. “We just told him to hang in there and he’s going to get another chance and he made it happen.”

Glynn Academy had a field goal blocked in addition to the missed free kick and Banks Entwistle missed a 38-yard attempt with 9:58 left in the fourth quarter. The Bucs put together what proved to be the game-clinching drive after Glynn’s third missed opportunity at putting points on the board and capped off the 64-yard, 8-play drive with a 29-yard Skyler Davis field goal with 2:21 left to make it 10-0.

Glynn Academy’s lone score came on the final play as Dallas dove in for a short rushing touchdown down the right sideline.

Allatoona finishes the season 14-1 after dropping its season-opener to East Paulding and the 14-game win streak stands as the new school record after tying last year’s 13-game win streak in the semis.

Archibald finished with a game-high 43 rushing yards and Rainey finished 5-of-9 passing for 73 yards through the air. Juanyea Tarver led the Bucs’ defense with eight tackles, including three tackles for loss.

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