Sandy Creek moves on; Landmark, OLM eliminated
Three local teams competed Friday night in the GHSA state football playoffs, but only one will live to fight another day this season.
Sandy Creek 55, Chestatee 7: The Patriots steamrolled into the AAAA state quarterfinals with another offensive explosion, this time against the War Eagles from Hall County.
It was the seventh time in 12 games this season Sandy Creek has scored 54 or more points in a game, and the sixth time the team has allowed seven points or fewer.
The Patriots will face the Griffin Bears next Friday with the home team to be determined by a Saturday coin flip, as both are unbeaten #1 seeds. Griffin won 42-7 over Statesboro in its second-round game.
A touchdown pass from Cole Garvin to Demarre Kitt began the scoring barrage, and an Eric Swinney run made it 14-0 in the first quarter. Garvin threw a scoring pass to Justin Sumpter in the second period, followed by a Kitt punt return for a score and another rushing touchdown by Swinney.
Chestatee did not pick up a first down until midway through the second quarter, and the War Eagles finally got on the board with one second left to make the halftime score 35-7.
In the third quarter Swinney scored his seventh touchdown in two games, and the Patriots got rushing touchdowns from Maceo Brown and Drezyn Parson.
Holy Innocents’ 27, Landmark 17: The War Eagles’ season came to an early end after losing to the Golden Bears for the second time in a month. It was Landmark’s third straight loss after an 8-0 start, and it marks the first time in three years the team will not reach the state semifinals.
After recovering a fumble on Holy Innocents’ first possession, Stockton McGuire threw a touchdown pass to Darius Smith. The game was tied at 7 when McGuire kicked a field goal early in the second quarter, but the Golden Bears got a score to lead 13-10 at halftime.
Landmark’s last touchdown drive ended early in the fourth quarter when McGuire scored on a keeper, but the visitors added a score on a long run and held on for the win.
Mt. Paran 31, Our Lady of Mercy 24: The Bobcats were in the hunt the entire game, never trailing by more than seven points, and had a chance to tie in the final minute before the host Eagles prevailed.
Mt. Paran got on the board first after a Bobcat fumble on its own 5, but on the very next possession quarterback Jameson Vest ran 60 yards for a touchdown to tie the score.
Down 14-7 midway through the second quarter, OLM scored again when Vest found Albert Wilson for a 9-yard touchdown pass. Christian Coleman broke loose for a 75-yard scoring run with two minutes to go in the half, and at intermission Mt. Paran led 28-21.
The lead was cut to four early in the third quarter when Vest booted a 48-yard field goal, and Mt. Paran added a field goal later in the period.
The Bobcats recovered a fumble at midfield late in the fourth quarter, and a 39-yard run by Jordan Thomas moved the ball to the Mt. Paran 9 with 2:39. OLM fumbled soon after, but the Bobcat defense held and Mt. Paran was forced to punt from its own 2 with 1:27 to go in regulation. The Bobcats had one final chance, but the Eagles got an interception to stop the threat.