First-round state playoff wins propel Cedar Grove and Tucker into the Sweet 16 round in respective playoff races.
Junior running back Tre’ Shaw ran for 252 yards and three touchdowns to lead the No. 3 ranked Cedar Grove Saints to a 47-0 victory over the Pierce County Bears in Class AAA state playoff action Nov. 14 at Hallford Stadium.
The teams played a scoreless first quarter with both defenses coming up with big stops on fourth down with their opponents threatening to score.
Shaw then ignited the Saints’ offense early in the second quarter as he cut through a hole in the front line of the Pierce County defense and raced 41 yards for the opening score of the game. The point after try was no good and Cedar Grove led 6-0 with 11:08 left in the first half.
The second Cedar Grove score of the game was set up by a 47-yard run by Shaw down to the Bears’ two-yard line. Quarterback Jelani Woods rolled out to his right on third down and goal and found receiver Elysee Mbem-Bosse in the corner of the end zone for the score with 6:43 left in the first half. Shaw added the two-point conversion with a pass reception for a 14-0 Saints lead.
Shaw increased the lead to 20-0 at the half with a three-yard run with 24 seconds to play in the second quarter.
Cedar Grove opened the second half with the ball and on third down Woods found Jayden Haselwood over the middle for a 60-yard pass play to up the lead to 26-0 with 10:32 left in the third quarter.
The final touchdown of the game for Shaw came with 2:56 remaining in the third quarter as he went 53 yards for the score and added the two-point conversion on a run for 34-0 lead.
Mbem-Bosse would get his second touchdown of the night with a 27-yard fumble return with seven seconds left in the third quarter to make it 40-0 in favor of the Saints. Woods rounded out the scoring with 1-yard run for the score following a 49-yard run by Zavier Anderson.
The Saints defense had eight tackles for a loss, including three sacks, for a minus-27 yards in the game while recovering two fumbles (1 for TD by Mbem-Bosse) and two interceptions as they shut out the high scoring Bears’ offense and quarterback Stetson Bennett (over 3,300 yards of total offense on the season).
Cedar Grove (9-1-1) earned a trip to Watkinsville to take on the Oconee County Warriors (9-2) Nov. 20.
Tucker 38, Langston Hughes 28
Adam Lippy’s 28-yard field goal and an interception by Tucker’s Chase Tyson with 30 seconds remaining sealed a 38-28 victory for the Tigers over the Langston Hughes Panthers in Class AAAAAA state playoff Nov. 14 at Hallford Stadium.
Tucker (8-3) was clinging to a 35-28 lead with 7:09 to play in the game following a touchdown by Hughes’ Isaiah Green as the Panthers battled back from a 35-14 deficit.
The Tigers put together a 52-yard drive that stalled on an incomplete pass on third down. Lippy trotted onto the field on fourth and goal at the Panthers’ 11-yard line to attempt to put the Tigers ahead by two scores. His 28-yard field goal was good for a 38-28 lead with 2:25 remaining in the game.
Hughes was driving back down the field when Tyson went up with a Panthers’ receiver and simultaneously catching a pass and pulling it away for an interception with just 30 seconds remaining in the game.
The Tigers had pulled away from a 14-14 tie in the first quarter to a 35-14 lead behind two touchdown runs (4 and 10 yards) and one touchdown pass reception of 25 yards by Samuel Bryant (15 carries, 93 yards).
Quarterback Garrett Rigby also connected on two touchdown passes to Joshua Vann (27 and 20 yards) in the game before Hughes began to rally.
Green threw for 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns and added the 1-yard rushing touchdown that pulled the Panthers within 35-28.
The Tigers offense rushed for 333 yards against Hughes as Chris Broadwater (12 carries, 100 yards) and Myles Donaldson (5 carries, 131 yards) both broke the century mark in rushing yards.
Tucker moved into the Sweet 16 round and travels to Cumming Nov. 20 to face South Forsyth (10-1).
Rome 7, Stephenson 6
The Rome Wolves invaded Hallford Stadium Nov. 13 and went home winners with a 7-6 win over No. 2 ranked Stephenson Jaguars in Class AAAAA state playoffs.
Rome quarterback Knox Kadum’s pass as time ran out in the game was caught by Jai Creamer (13 receptions, 149 yards) at the goal line with a Stephenson defender right on him to tie the game at 6-6. The first extra point try was blocked by the Jaguars, but Stephenson was called for unsportsmanlike conduct (jumping over the linemen). Emanuel Gonzalez was good on the second try to give the Wolves the one-point victory.
The Jaguars looked to have sealed a 6-0 victory with under a minute to play as Eugene Brown caught a pass thrown under pressure for an apparent interception. Brown attempted to run and collided with a teammate, which caused him to lose the football, but the Jaguars seemingly recovered and thought they had the football.
A conversation by the referees turned into a reversal of the original call making the pass incomplete and giving Rome the football back with life left to set up the winning play.
The Jaguars had led 6-0 since Nigel Grant recovered a Rome fumble in the end zone with 1:38 left in the first quarter.
Stephenson missed an opportunity to extend its lead with 11:05 left in the game, but a drive stalled at the Rome 4-yard line and a 21-yard field goal attempt was just wide left.
Rome held the potent Jaguar rushing attack to just 77 yards on 33 attempts and to a total of 114 yards of offense on the night.
In other Nov. 13 playoff action, the Lakeside Vikings (4-7) fell 79-20 to Westlake in Class AAAAAA play, while in Class AAAA the Columbia Eagles (5-6) dropped a 42-7 decision to No. 2 ranked Cartersville.
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