Editor’s Note: This is a sampling of our football coverage from the action on Friday, September 25. For our full sports coverage, subscribe to the Fayette County News by calling 770-461-6317.
Starr’s Mill tops Sandy Creek 10-7 in defensive battle
There wasn’t much scoring, but the Starr’s Mill Panthers tallied as many points as they needed, beating the Sandy Creek Patriots 10-7 Friday night.
The victory was quintessential Starr’s Mill football. Against a team more physically gifted, the Panthers did the little things right to slay Goliath again.
“Mental toughness is a core value that is preached daily. In order for us to be successful, we must play highly disciplined football. We need to be sharp in every facet of the game,” said Starr’s Mill coach Chad Phillips. “Our staff and players know the margin of error is slim. The difference between winning and losing typically can come down to one play. We cannot commit turnovers, give up explosive plays, and commit careless penalties that kill drives or extend them for the other team. This concept is reinforced year round with all of our training activities.”
Taking advantage of a short field, the Panthers used a beautifully executed trap to spring Greigh Joseph for 17 yards. Connor Marke booted a 29-yard field goal to lead 3-0 with four minutes left in the opening quarter.
Next, the Panthers took advantage of a pass interference flag to move into the red zone. Devin Barnett did the rest, scoring from 9 yards out on what would be the only touchdown either offense scored all night to lead 10-0.
Sandy Creek answered emphatically with Jared Davis returning the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. The return was controversial, as Davis was wrapped up and the Starr’s Mill coaches believed he was down, but the officials ruled he stayed up and tallied the touchdown to pull within 10-7.
With 10:07 left in the half, it would be the final points of the game.
Starr’s Mill runs their record to 3-1, and Sandy Creek drops to 1-2. Both teams are off this week.
Whitewater loses to Central in overtime, 29-28
Trailing the Central Lions 14-0 to open the second half, the Whitewater Wildcats came roaring back with a 70-yard touchdown pass from Austen Millians to a wide open Braxton Mueller streaking up the seam.
They kept the momentum going early in the fourth. With TJ Hill pulling him to the ground for a would-be sack, the Central quarterback chucked the ball into the waiting arms of Spencer Fields, who returned it 60 yards for a touchdown to tie it at 14-14.
After the Lions pulled back ahead, Whitewater found another answer on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Millians to Aaron Jones, who burned the cornerback up the sideline for the score, tying the game at 21-21 and sending it to overtime.
Whitewater opened overtime with a 15-yard touchdown run by Adeoluwa Erinle and a Brennen Schmitt extra point, but Central scored the win with a touchdown and successful two-point conversion.
The loss drops Whitewater to 1-3. They are off this week before opening region play.
McIntosh rally falls short against Upson-Lee, 35-27
The hard luck continues for McIntosh. The Chiefs dropped to 0-4 on the season, with another one-score defeat, against the Upson-Lee Knights, 35-27.
A scoreless first quarter gave way to an explosive second. Upson-Lee opened the scoring, then quarterback Hayes Herzog ran it in from five yards out. The Knights scored two quick touchdowns, and the Chiefs scored with just over a minute left in the half on a 19-yard pass from Herzog to Theo Elwell to send it into the break at 21-14.
A big third quarter for the Knights dug a 35-14 hole heading into the fourth, but the Chiefs didn’t give up. Cosper scored from three yards out, then got them back within one score on a 10-yard reception with 1:41 left, but they would not get another chance to score.
Herzog had a huge night, completing 16 of 24 for 305 yards with 3 total touchdowns and 1 interception. Mason McPeters caught 6 passes for 91 yards, and Elwell racked 101 yards and a score on 4 catches.
The Chiefs are off this week before opening region play against Griffin.
To see more photos from football season, go to https://www.cdphotography23.com/Sports/High-School/Football/Football-2020