By David Purdum / For the AJC
Chase Solomon’s fourth-quarter touchdown run lifted Johns Creek to a 30-16 comeback win over host Chattahoochee on Friday.
On a 4th and 2, Solomon took a handoff on an option play and sprinted 23 yards to give the Gladiators (5-0, 2-0 6-AAAAAA) their first lead of the game with nine minutes left in the game.
Chattahoochee drove into Johns Creek territory on the ensuing drive, but Sam Arrington’s big hit on Chase Nelson jarred the ball loose, and Michael Salomon recovered the fumble.
Three plays later, Skye Overton hooked up with Bradon Fortin on a clinching 28-yard touchdown pass to secure the undefeated Gladiators’ first win over Chattahoochee in three tries.
“This is a great step for us, but we don’t have anytime to rest,” said Gladiators coach Mike Cloy. “We’ve got a week off and then face West Forsyth, who is scoring like 200 points a game.”
Chattahoochee (3-2, 1-1 6-AAAAAA) led for the majority of three quarters. The Cougars had multiple chances to break the game open, but had to settle for field goals on two drives deep inside Gladiators’ territory, including on one third-quarter possession that started at the Johns Creek 6 yard line.
The defensive stand fired up the Gladiator offense, which marched 80 yards on 11 plays and tied the game on a 6-yard touchdown run by Overton at the end of the third quarter.
“That is where the momentum changed,” said Chattahoochee coach Terry Crowder. “We had an opportunity to kind of stretch our lead and couldn’t take advantage.”
The Cougars controlled the first half, using the running combo of Travis Marshall and Chase Nelson to keep the ball away from Johns Creek. Chattahoochee ran 15 more plays and had the ball for close to eight minutes more than the Gladiators in the first half, yet led just 10-9 at the half. Marshall had a 3-yard touchdown run, and Adam Abdellaoul kicked three field goals for the Cougars.
Will Somers tackled Marshall in the end zone for a safety to put Johns Creek on the board. Somers also had an interception, which setup the Gladiators’ go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth quarter.
Region 6-AAAAAA teams are off next week. Chattahoochee will travel to South Forsyth on Oct. 12, while Johns Creek will host fellow unbeaten West Forsyth in what will be a big game.
“No time to rest for us with West Forsyth next,” said Johns Creek coach Mike Cloy.
Johns Creek 0 9 7 14 – 30
Chattahoochee 3 7 6 0 – 16
C – Adam Abdellaoul 21 field goal
JC – Will Somers tackles Travis Marshall in end zone for safety
C – Marshall 3 run (Abdellaoul kick)
JC – Andrew Szambelan 19 pass from Skye Overton (Kyle Fowler kick)
C – Abdellaoul 32 field goal.
JC – Overton 6 run (Fowler kick)
JC – Chase Solomon 23 run (Fowler kick)
JC – Bradon Fortin 23 pass from Overton (Fowler kick)