Chat­tooga earns No. 2 seed in play­offs

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS -

While the Chat­tooga foot­ball team has made the play­offs all five sea­sons Charles Ham­mon has been at the helm, this year’s play­off ap­pear­ance will be spe­cial to the team’s head coach.

“It’s at home,” he said. “We don’t have to get on a bus. It’ll be the first time in five years we don’t have to get on a bus.”

The In­di­ans came away with a 19-7 win last Fri­day night against Pep­perell on Se­nior Night at Dragon Sta­dium, earn­ing them the No. 2 seed in Re­gion 7-AA and the right to host a Class AA state play­off game next week.

Chat­tooga will host Wash­ing­ton, the No. 3 seed out of Re­gion 6-AA, and Pep­perell will head out on the road to face No. 2 seed Dou­glass.

E.J. Lackey and Le­shaun Lester led the In­di­ans’ ground game with Lackey fin­ish­ing with 165 yards and a touch­down on 18 car­ries, while Lester had 63 yards and a score on 12 car­ries.

Chat­tooga (8-2, 6-1 7-AA) en­tered half­time of last week’s con­test against Pep­perell tied 0-0, which was just fine with Ham­mon, who had con­fi­dence his team could pull out a win if they didn’t get be­hind.

“I told the kids, if we win or tie a quar­ter, we’re go­ing to win,” Ham­mon said. “In the first quar­ter, win or tie, we’re win­ning this thing. Half­time, win or tie, we’re win­ning this thing. There were two good foot­ball teams here, and both teams played their guts out. No one de­served to lose, but I’m glad we won.”

Pep­perell was ham­pered by in­juries be­fore and dur­ing the game, and the of­fense strug­gled to gain any mo­men­tum against the In­di­ans.

Sopho­more start­ing quar­ter­back Gage Moses in­jured him­self in the weight­room Thurs­day, in what head coach Rick Hurst said was hope­fully just a pulled ham­string.

The quar­ter­back sit­u­a­tion wors­ened for Pep­perell (6-4, 5-2) when Josh Ross, who started in place of Moses, in­jured his right an­kle in the third quar­ter while try­ing to evade the Chat­tooga de­fense. Hurst said both play­ers will be ex­am­ined in the up­com­ing days, but it’s likely they won’t be avail­able in the play­offs.

Hurst then looked to sopho­more Lan­don Loyd, who stepped in while the score was still tied 0-0.

“I know that he didn’t bat an eye,” Hurst said. “He got some reps in dur­ing prac­tice this week as he al­ways does. I’m just su­per proud of them. I hate it for them. I hate that we’re in the sit­u­a­tion we’re in, but that’s part of the game. We’ve been lucky and for­tu­nate not to have those kinds of in­juries here in the last cou­ple of years, but we just got snake-bit at the wrong time.”

Loyd got the Drag­ons on the score­board with just over two min­utes left in the game when he hit Pay­ton Rhoades on a 47-yard touch­down pass to make the fi­nal 19-7.

Coosa 37, Gor­don Cen­tral 14

Kenon Dixon rushed for 155 yards and threw for 90 yards in an all-out ef­fort to lead Coosa to a 37-14 win over Re­gion 7-AA foe Gor­don Cen­tral in Cal­houn last week, giv­ing the Ea­gles the No. 4 seed in the re­gion and a spot in the Class AA state play­offs.

Coosa (4-6, 4-3 7-AA) took a 10-7 lead into half­time and car­ried its of­fen­sive mo­men­tum into the sec­ond half when Dixon sliced through the Gor­don Cen­tral de­fense for a 21-yard rush­ing touch­down.

Malaki Mar­tin snagged a pass from Dixon in the third quar­ter that was tipped sev­eral times for a 33-yard catch in the back of the end zone. Dixon also re­turned a kick­off 85 yards for a touch­down, and Coosa tacked on two more touch­downs in the form of a 71-yard scor­ing run by Dixon and a 1-yard touch­down pass from Dixon to Lo­gan Pledger.

Coosa will go on the road next Fri­day to face Hapeville Char­ter, the No. 1-ranked team in Class AA and reign­ing Class AA state cham­pi­ons.

Ar­muchee 35, Dade County 14

The Ar­muchee foot­ball team wrapped up its first sea­son un­der head coach Jeremy Green on Nov. 2 with a 35-14 win against Re­gion 7-AA foe Dade County

The In­di­ans led 14-0 at half­time and man­aged to tack on three more scores in the sec­ond half on their way to their first re­gion win of the sea­son and a 2-8 over­all record.

Trion 40, Pinecrest Academy 13

Braden John­son scored two touch­downs in the first quar­ter of last Fri­day’s con­test against Pinecrest Academy as the Bull­dogs cruised to a 40-13 win against the No. 3 team from Re­gion 6-A/B.

Trion, which is ranked 11th in the Class A Pub­lic Power Rat­ings, will host the No. 22 team next week in the open­ing round of the state play­offs.

Af­ter Pinecrest Academy tied the score 13-13 be­fore half­time, Ha­gen Willing­ham scored on a 20-yard run in the third quar­ter to give the Bull­dogs (7-3) a 20-13 lead. Willing­ham also scored in the fourth quar­ter on a 21-yard pass from Lin­coln Mad­dux.

John­son fin­ished with 116 yards on 19 car­ries, Willing­ham had 140 yards on 16 car­ries, Alex Stew­art re­turned a blocked punt 40 yards for a core, and Will Wy­att score on a 3-yard run.

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