Friday football roundup

Terance Johnson

Hillgrove upset No. 1 Camden County and North Gwinnett edged Archer in a thriller. But the biggest news of the night may have been Heard County RB Duranta Dunson rushing for 511 yards and breaking the state record for single-game rushing yards.

Read about these games and more below.


Dacula 28, Peachtree Ridge 21: Aaron Grove ran for touchdown and tossed a scoring strike to Josh Lovin as Dacula won a back-and-forth contest against Peachtree Ridge. The host Falcons got touchdown runs from Bijan Sirleaf and Kelan Fraise to lead 14-7 after one quarter. Chance Thrasher threw three touchdown passes for Peachtree Ridge.

Hillgrove 34, Camden County 21: Hillgrove trailed 21-7 after the first quarter but shut out Camden County the rest of the way to pull off an upset over the host Wildcats. Elijah Ironside completed 11 of 19 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns for the Hawks. Emanuel Beal hauled in one of Ironside’s scoring heaves from 72 yards out. Sonny Harrison also successfully executed a halfpack pass by finding Omar Black with a 17-yard scoring strike.

Camden County finished with 311 rushing yards on 61 carries but did most of its damage right away. Antonio Wimbush and Harrison Poole scored touchdowns on the ground and Dalton Sikes connected with Kalvaraz Bessent on a 40-yard touchdown pass. Sikes, however, completed only two of 11 passes and he was picked off once by Hillgrove’s Quincy Nelson. The Wildcats went on a 16-play drive midway through the fourth quarter in hopes of making it a one-possession game, but they turned it over on downs at the 6-yard line.

McEachern 22, Langston Hughes 21: Taj Griffin ran for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter. It was 3-0 at halftime after an early McEachern field goal by Dennis Dominguez, but McEachern had to overcome a 21-9 deficit in the fourth. Bailey Hockman threw a touchdown pass to Malik Williams, and Alizee Chubbs also had a rushing score for visiting McEachern.

Norcross 32, Brookwood 9: Josh Boyd led host Norcross with 26 carries for 172 yards and touchdowns of one and 12 yards. Wide receiver Clinton Lynch scored on a 12-yard rushing touchdown, and Kadarius Garrett rushed for a 6-yard score. Quarterback A.J. Bush had 68 yards rushing with a 3-yard score. Norcross led 7-3 at the half.

North Gwinnett 34, Archer 32: Michael D’Angola hit a 27-yard field goal with nine seconds left to give visiting North Gwinnett the victory. North Gwinnett quarterback Hayden Sphire found Nate Brown on a 33-yard pass to the Archer 11-yard line to help set up the game-winning kick. Sphire was 17-of-29 for 220 yards and two touchdowns, both to Caleb Scott, of 15 and 22 yards. Scott finished with nine receptions for 121 yards. Running back C.J. Leggett rushed 20 times for 163 yards and a 38-yard score. Dante Sawyer, usually a defensive lineman but frequently used as a goal-line quarterback for the Bulldogs, threw a 2-yard jump pass to Daniel Imatorbhebhe for a touchdown.



Creekside 42, Harris County 21: Creekside found itself tied 7-7 after one quarter, but eventually led 28-7 lead going into the fourth quarter. Dexter Knox scored both of his rushing touchdowns in the second half to put away the game for the host Seminoles. Felix Harper threw three scoring strikes for Creekside, two to Jayson Stanley and one to Evan Berry. Bricen Terry got the Seminoles on the scoreboard in the first quarter with a touchdown run.


Gainesville 51, South Paulding 12: Deshaun Watson threw five touchdown passes in leading host Gainesville to a rout of South Paulding. Watson’s first two scoring strikes went to Rodney Lackey, from 20 and 67 yards out. Orrin Ragland hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Watson just before halftime. Michael Byrd found the endzone twice on the ground for Gainesville.


Kell 26, Mays 15: Cameron Rosendahl threw touchdown passes to Bryson Armstrong (23 yards) and Evan Carnes (26 yards) for host Kell. Carnes also had an interception return of 12 yards for a score, and Cameron Massung hit a 19-yard field goal. Defensive end Ethan Elliott had a sack for a safety for Kell.


North Paulding 35, Stephenson 7: Brandon Townsend intercepted four passes and returned two for touchdowns—both in the first quarter—as North Paulding surged past Stephenson. The host Wolfpack led 28-0 after one quarter and held on after Stephenson cut it to 28-7 after three. Chase Noonan threw three scoring strikes, two to Mac Seagle and another to D.J. Owens.


Ware County 35, Northside-Warner Robins 7: A scoreless tie through the first quarter quickly turned into a rout for the Gators. Dedrick Mills carved out 156 yards on 12 carries with three touchdowns. Teammate Jaquez Bolds rushed for 113 yards. Additional scores came from Raekwon Chatman’s 40-yard interception return and a 20-yard pass from Jamar Johnson to Sammy Burley.


Warner Robins 42, Richmond Hill 28: Warner Robins led 35-6 at the end of the third quarter and almost let visiting Richmond Hill pull off a miraculous comeback. The Wildcats scored three straight touchdowns in a span of 1:17, but a 55-yard drive capped off by Danny Hite’s 2-yard score in the fourth quarter ended the threat.


Class AAAA

Burke County 20, Mary Persons 0: Burke County’s strong ground game and tenacious defense was the key factor for the Bears. The Bears rushed for 288 yards with Donquell Green tallying 114 yards and a touchdown. Additional rushing scores came from Reginald Grubbs and Donqual Young. Burke County’s defense held Mary Persons in check with just 79 yards passing.


Carrollton 44, Monroe Area 27: The visiting Trojans took down the Purple Hurricanes behind Jarvis Terrell, who rushed for 157 yards on 11 carries and found the end zone twice. Quarterback Wil Garrett threw for 99 yards and two touchdowns on 5-of-11 passing and also ran for 84 yards on nine carries. The Trojans had 360 yards rushing and enjoyed a 459-446 edge in total offense. The difference in the game was the penalty yardage, where the Purple Hurricanes were penalized for 96 yards and the Trojans only 10 yards.


Griffin 42, Statesboro 7: The host Bears used a strong performance from their defense to move on in the playoffs. Quarterback Jaquez Parks had a big night throwing for two touchdowns to Trey Willis and Jordan Colbert. Running back Devontae Freeman had two rushing touchdowns and Malik Miller had another. Keyston Fuller blocked a punt for a touchdown.


Marist 38, Gilmer 0: The host War Eagles led 32-0 at the half behind Chase Martenson’s three rushing scores (1, 3, 2) and one passing score, which was a 21-yard toss to Matt Perez. Nathan Maulding scored on a 6-yard run in the third to close out the scoring. Marist rushed for 192 yards in the first half.


Sandy Creek 55, Chestatee 7: The host Patriots were led by Eric Swinney who had rushing touchdowns from 17, 3 and 37 yards out. Maceo Brown added a 37-yard rushing touchdown and Drezyn Parson scores from three yards out. Cole Garvin threw one touchdown to Demarre Kitt for 50 yards and another went to Justin Sumpter for 46 yards.


Stockbridge 35, Westover 0: Stockbridge led 14-0 at the break and never looked back to advance to the next round. The Tigers posted all of their scores on the ground. Quarterback Javon Brandon and Maetron Thomas recorded the first two touchdowns to get things rolling. Second-half scores came courtesy of Brandon, Malik Bryan and Cam Maddox.


Class AAA

Blessed Trinity 38, White County 0: Carter McManes and Chad Manchey rushed for two touchdowns apiece for Blessed Trinity. The host Titans extended a 7-0 lead after one quarter to 28-0 at halftime. Conor Davis threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Pat Jasinski before Marc Nolan capped the scoring with a 33-yard field goal.


Carver-Columbus 19, Jefferson County 0: On offense, Carver-Columbus’s touchdowns came from Noah Hickey’s 3-yard scamper, a 55-yard strike from Jawon Pass to Nate Barley and a halfback pass from Khane Pass, Jawon’s brother, to Raequan Lowe.


Ringgold 37, Cedar Grove 12: The host Tigers took a shutout late into the third quarter and were led on offense by quarterback Slade Dale. Dale threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Dallas McGee and also rushed for two touchdowns from seven and nine yards out. D.L. Goins had an 8-yard touchdown run and Kile Sholl added a 20-yard rushing touchdown.


St. Pius X 31, Cartersville 19: Fullback Dalton Wilson rushed 17 yards for 100 yards and touchdowns of three and two yards for visiting St. Pius, which also got touchdown runs from quarterback Joey Connors and running back Jack Pelt. Thomas O’Leary hit a 20-yard field goal for St. Pius, and Fred Dorsey blocked a punt and had an interception.


Washington County 56, Peach County 16: For the first time ever, the host Golden Hawks beat the Trojans and did so in convincing fashion. A.J. Gray had a career night rushing for six touchdowns and 230 yards. He scored three touchdowns in each half and paced an offense that moved the ball well using big plays.


Class AA

Benedictine 51, Fitzgerald 7: The host Cadets used a strong rushing attack on their way to winning their 12th game of the year, a new school record. They had 329 yards and six touchdowns on 48 carries and had a total of 462 yards of offense. John Gaines led the way with 14 carries rushing for 131 yards and a touchdown, while hauling in two catches for 50 yards and another score. Mike Huggins rushed for 87 yards and two scores on 12 carries. Quarterback Stevie Powers was a perfect 7-of-7 passing for 133 yards and one touchdown.


Calhoun 31, Greater Atlanta Christian 30: Brandon Blaylock hit the go-ahead field goal for Calhoun with just over a minute to play, then Greater Atlanta Christian missed a field goal with six seconds left. Calhoun’s Titus Curtis had a touchdown catch and a kickoff return for a score, and Chandler Curtis had a touchdown catch and an interception return for a score.


Jefferson 61, Heard County 57: Duranta Dunson had 511 yards rushing and more than 600 total yards of offense in a losing effort for the Braves. He had rushing touchdowns of 67, 68, 60 and 80 yards. Quarterback Evan Shirreffs came back from injury and led the visiting Dragons on their final two drives and threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Skelton with 1:06 remaining in the game to take the lead. Skelton started the game at quarterback and threw for three touchdowns while rushing for another. Tristen Jackson and Isaiah Blake each rushed for two touchdowns.


Lovett 34, Kendrick 0: The host Lions scored in each quarter and saw five different players find the endzone. The Lovett defense gave up zero passing yards and completions on five attempts. Kendrick mustered just 94 total yards. Lovett quarterback Willie Candler was 8-of-12 for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Candler also rushed for 87 yards and a score.


Class A

Eagle’s Landing Christian 41, Athens Christian 3: The visiting Eagles trailed 13-3 at the half. The Chargers’ Lane Timpson, however, took the game into his own hands in the second half and scored on two rushing touchdowns to push the lead to 27-3. He also scored on the opening drive of the game on a 31-yard touchdown run.


Holy Innocents’ 27, Landmark Christian 17: Holy Innocents’ got 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Clay Pfohl. The host War Eagles pulled to within 20-17 early in the fourth quarter, but the Golden Bears tacked on a late touchdown to put the game away. Pfohl’s scoring jaunts came from 30 and 35 yards out. Trey Wright added a 65-yard touchdown run for the victors.


Mt. Pisgah 40, Pacelli 7: Aaron Winchester was 12-of-22 passing for 182 yards and accounted for six touchdowns for host Mt. Pisgah, throwing for five scores and rushing for one. Winchester found Ben Miller (five receptions, 99 yards) for four scores, and also hit Browning Dunn for a score. The Patriots’ defense had three interceptions and a fumble recovery.


Prince Avenue 51, Brookstone 0: Zantravious Shields led the host Wolverines to the third round of the playoffs. Shields had 121 yards rushing and found the end zone three times. Conor Sibley carried the ball for 83 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground. Zack Graham and Jonah Doster each had an interception and rushed for a touchdown.


Stephen Black, Ricky Dimon, Alex Ewalt, Rory Sharrock and Jay Underwood contributed to this report.

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