Price’s touch­down pushes Chat­tooga past Ar­muchee

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL SPORTS - By Tommy Ro­manach RN-T Sports Writer

It was all Ar­muchee head coach Muham­mad Ab­del­latif could ask for from his play­ers Fri­day night. The ef­fort and the plays proved they were mak­ing strides as a foot­ball team.

Give or take a penalty or an ex­tra yard, and Ar­muchee could’ve won the game as well.

De­spite not lead­ing for the first three quar­ters and los­ing the turnover bat­tle, Chat­tooga pulled out a 14- 10 win against Ar­muchee in a Re­gion 7-AA matchup in Ar­muchee. Chat­tooga’s Devin Price scored on a 55-yard touch­down run with 5:15 left for the win­ning mar­gin.

“We are a good foot­ball team, and our record does not de­fine our growth as a team,” Ab­del­latif said. “We are ca­pa­ble of play­ing good foot­ball, and that could be seen tonight. This is a game that shows there’s a lot of growth go­ing on.”

Ar­muchee quar­ter­back Bray­den Perry went 8-of18 for 134 yards pass­ing and a touch­down, while Ja­cob Hen­der­son racked up 54 rush­ing yards. Mean­while, an Ar­muchee de­fense led by J. C. Bur­kett and Joseph Ryall ter­ror­ized Chat­tooga’s run game all night.

The de­fense al­most made an­other stop on Price’s touch­down run, which came on a crit­i­cal third-and-short. The snap was high and went over Price’s head, but the ju- nior picked up the ball, found the side­line and sped past de­fend­ers all the way to the end zone.

Ar­muchee’s next drive got into the red zone, and Ab­del­latif’s team faced a fourth-and-5 with just more than a minute left. Ini­tially Ar­muchee con­verted the fourth down with a Will Hub­bard run to the left, but a hold­ing call took it back and made it fourth-and-19.

Perry found Tae Allen for an 18- yard com­ple­tion on the next play, just a yard short of the first down and seal­ing the Chat­tooga win.

“I’m proud of th­ese guys. We put our­selves in po­si­tion to win a foot­ball game,” Ab­del­latif said. “And we re­ally won the game mi­nus a bad snap that their kid picked up and was just a lit­tle faster than our guys. But that does not change how proud I am of this team.”

Ar­muchee ( 1- 7, 0- 5 7-AA) gained only 89 in the first half, but nearly all of that came on a 60-yard touch­down pass from Perry to Adam Hart in the first quar­ter. It was the only score in a first half that saw Chat­tooga com­mit two turnovers.

The In­di­ans of Sum­merville got into the red zone twice in the first half, but failed to score any points. How­ever, Chat­tooga be­gan mov­ing the ball in the sec­ond quar­ter, thanks mostly to Price play­ing out of the wild­cat for­ma­tion.

“Devin is just com­pet­i­tive, just like all the kids on this team,” Chat­tooga coach Charles Ham­mon said. “But with Devin, he can just get it to the out­side and take the ball down­hill so quickly.”

Chat­tooga ( 3- 5, 3- 2) fi­nally scored in the third quar­ter on an 8- yard touch­down run from E.J. Lackey, ty­ing the game at 7 with three min­utes left in the third.

Early in the fourth, Ar­muchee be­gan to string to­gether first downs, most no­tably on an 18yard com­ple­tion to Ta­malachi Lovelace. It was enough to get into field goal range, where Si­mon Wil­son made a 30- yard field goal to go up 10- 7 with 7:58 left. The gamewin­ning score from Price came on the next drive.

Ar­muchee hits t he road next week with a trip to Lin­dale to play Pep­perell. As the seas on moves f or­ward, Ab­del­latif hopes his team can bring the same pas­sion it brought on Fri­day night.

“I think if we play with that sort of ef­fort, we af­ford our­selves a chance,” Ab­del­latif said. “Our motto is at­ti­tude, com­mit­ment and ef­fort. So the ef­fort has to be great, each and every play.”

Steven Eck­hoff / Rome News-Tri­bune

Chat­tooga’s Devin Price (cen­ter) is tack­led by Ar­muchee’s Ethan Nixon (10) dur­ing a Re­gion 7-AA game Fri­day.

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