Chattooga earns No. 2 seed in playoffs
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.