Chapel Hill sure seems like a team peaking at the right time. The Panthers won their third-straight Region 4-AAA contest Friday, taking out Haralson County 68-19 in Tallapoosa.
"It was a fun win," Chapel Hill first-year head coach Geoff Pastrick said.
The Panthers' point total is the most in school history, according to ghsfha.org. Their previous high of 54 points came against Morrow in 2009, which was the last time Chapel Hill made the state playoffs.
Speaking of the playoffs, Chapel Hill looks to be headed back after a two-year drought. The Panthers (5-3, 4-1 Region 4-AAA) remain in second place in the region heading into next week's home showdown with third place Central-Carroll (5-4, 4-2 Region 4-AAA) and control their own destiny.
A win over Central would assure the Panthers second place and a home playoff berth. If they lose to Central, things get murkier heading into the season finale with Jackson-Atlanta with four teams in the running for the final three spots. Callaway is undefeated in the region and is almost assured of taking first place.
"We're sitting in second place all by ourselves, but if we don't continue to get better and take care of business we can find ourselves out of the playoffs if we lose our next two," Pastrick said.
Six different players scored offensive touchdowns Friday. M.J. Rookard, Tre Owens, Jeremiah Bridges and John Chester-Owens all had TD receptions. Starting quarterback Brett Roberts threw for roughly 200 yards and three TDs and sophomore backup Logan Johnstone added another 50 yards and a touchdown throw.
Standout tailback Tre Mitchell, who missed last week's game, ran for 124 yards and three TDs. Mitchell now has a county-best rushing total of over 1,300 yards and 12 TDs for the season.
Mitchell's understudy, Jamarcus Morrissette, ran for roughly another 50 yards and a score.
"It wasn't about running up the score," Pastrick said. "We were trying to get our young guys in there and we're going to keep running our offense. It's good to know that our sophomore quarterback can understand the offense enough to know if there's press coverage and we call a hitch that he converts it to a fade ball. That's automatically in the offense and to see him do stuff like that is pretty exciting."
Chapel Hill's defense added 12 more points to the scoreboard on Akil Shaw's "scoop-and-score" and Jamal McDaniel's interception return.
Gibson steps up for Tigers
Douglas County is still in the playoff hunt in the six-team Region 3-AAAAAA after Friday's 21-13 loss at Newnan. But the Tigers (2-6, 1-2 Region 3-AAAAAA) dropped from fourth to fifth place in the standings and can finish as high as third place or miss the playoffs entirely depending out the outcomes of Friday's contest with East Coweta on Senior Night and their season finale at Tri-Cities.
With leading rusher and scorer Anthony Garner out with an ankle sprain suffered in last week's win over Westlake, Terrell Gibson came in and picked up the slack. Gibson caught five passes from Ellis Richardson for 145 yards and a touchdown and rushed 12 times for 79 yards giving him 224 yards of total offense.
Gibson's 57-yard TD reception from Richardson was Douglas County's only offensive score. DeVante Williams recovered a fumble in the end zone to give the Tigers a score on defense.
Lions lose momentum in second half
Lithia Springs' 35-14 loss at Rome was one of those where the score probably looks worse than the performance.
The Lions trailed 21-7 at halftime, but it could have easily been 14-7 if not for Myron Washington's 80-yard kickoff return for a TD after Lithia struck first on its opening drive.
Even with a two-score deficit, Lithia Springs shocked Rome when Jack Dow laid down a perfect onside kick to start the second half and Kendall McDowell recovered it for the Lions at the Rome 44. Lithia drove to the Rome 2-yard line before a fumble stalled the drive and Lithia's momentum. Wolves wingback Frank Griffin took it 95 yards to the house three plays later to put Rome up 28-7 and the Wolves never looked back.
Lithia wingback Avonte Boyd upped his season rushing total to 816 yards and nine touchdowns with 32 carries for 166 yards and two scores Friday. Boyd also had 37 yards on two recpetions from QB Tikal Petty, who went 2-of-5 passing.
The Lions host No. 3 East Paulding Friday.
Speed not enough for Jags
Facing a Villa Rica team he coached for five seasons before coming to New Manchester last year as head coach, Rob Cleveland knew Friday's game would be a battle of the Wildcats' size and strength versus the Jaguars' speed.
Size and strength won out as the Wildcats took a 27-0 halftime lead en route to beating the Jags 34-14.
"Our deficiencies right now are up front and it's not that our kids are not capable, they're just a year away in the weight room from competing against some of these lines of scrimmages that we're running up against," Cleveland said.
Starting fullback Ryan Santos scored both New Manchester touchdowns.
The Jags have a bye week Friday before finishing the season at home with Hiram on Nov. 9.
Alexander takes rare shutout
The Cougars fell 48-0 to No. 5 Carrollton Friday marking just the second time in eight games Alexander's offense has been shut out.
A big reason for that was no doubt the absence of starting quarterback Brian Dansereau, who is recovering from a concussion and neck injury suffered a week ago against No. 1 Sandy Creek.
With Dansereau out, Cougars head coach Matt Combs decided to get freshman Baylor Whitfield some reps behind center. Whitfield was 15-of-26 for 126 yards and one interception.
Alexander hosts 0-8 Columbus Friday for Senior Night.