Druid Hills got back into it with a third-quarter touchdown, but a methodical, powerful Chamblee drive opened the game back up and propelled the Bulldogs to a 28-21 win.
The Red Devils (1-1), trying for their first 2-0 start since 1993, cut the Chamblee lead to 21-14 early in the third quarter, then nearly completed one last charge at the end. But the defense couldn’t hold the fort.
The Bulldogs came straight back, running through tackles and rolling off nice chunks of yardage during an 80-yard, 11-play drive that gave Chamblee (2-0) the gap it needed.
That drive was all running plays, with the star being Dezmin Reed. The senior, who only ran the ball twice in the first half, had five carries for 41 yards on the drive, including the final 3 yards for his second score of the game.
That drive added 80 to Chamblee’s team rushing total of 295 yards, aided by first-half runs of 70 and 65 yards. A late 95-yard punt return by Jaquan Johnson got Druid Hills back within a score, but it wasn’t enough after a failed onside kick.
Chamblee fell behind early, as Druid Hills took the opening kickoff and marched straight down the field. The Red Devils covered 75 yards in six plays, capped off by a 22-yard Johnson run that put Druid Hills up 7-0.
The Bulldogs answered quickly, though. On the first play of the subsequent drive, Chamblee’s Deonte Boyland started right, cut left and sprinted 65 yards to the Druid Hills 15-yard line. Two plays later, Boyland finished off the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run to tie the game.
Chamblee’s defense started to tighten, keeping the game tied until the Bulldogs could put together another drive, two possessions later. It took them eight plays to cover 57 yards, ending with a 35-yard touchdown strike to Kareem Codling to give Chamblee a lead it would never relinquish.
It looked like the game would go into the half with Chamblee leading 14-7, after a perfect Ben Whealler punt pinned the Bulldogs at their own 5-yard line with 2:22 on the clock.
But on the first play, Tomas Harris cut across the field to his right and ran 70 yards to put the Bulldogs back into scoring position at the Druid Hills 25.
Two plays later, Reed took it 18 yards into the end zone to give Chamblee a two-score advantage going into the locker room.
C 7 14 7 0 – 28
D 7 0 7 7 – 21
D – JaQuan Johnson 22 run (Ben Whealler kick)
C – Deonte Boyland 12 run (Arthur Gilmore kick)
C – Kareem Codling 35 pass from Ja’Tavian Johnson (Gilmore kick)
C – Dezmin Reed 18 run (Gilmore kick)
D – Emmanuel Reed 24 pass from Kyle Simmons (Whealler kick)
C – Reed 3 run (Gilmore kick)
D – Johnson 95 punt return (Whealler kick)