Returning to the scene of their last regular-season loss, the Sandy Creek Patriots quickly erased any thoughts of a repeat defeat.
The Patriots (2-0-1) won 54-35 after sprinting to a 28-0 first-quarter lead, extending their regular-season unbeaten streak to 42 games.
Fans and coaches on both sides sported gray shirts in memory of East Coweta cheerleader Madeline McTier, who died earlier this week after a battle with brain cancer. The fence surrounding the field was adorned with pink tributes, and the East Coweta students held a vigil after the game.
Sandy Creek rolled up 469 total yards behind quarterback Cole Garvin, who completed 12 of 18 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns. Delvin Weems rushed for 121 yards and Eric Swinney added 87 rushing yards while scoring four total touchdowns.
All of that offset a 208-yard passing performance by East Coweta quarterback Bryce Gemmel, who connected for three touchdowns. E.J. Ransom caught four passes for 119 yards and a pair of scores.
East Coweta, which beat Sandy Creek 28-27 in double overtime to open the 2009 season, was forced to play catch-up early. The Indians (1-2) twice pulled within two scores, but never solved Sandy Creek’s offense.
The Patriots jumped out 7-0 on their second possession. After a 39-yard run by Weems gave them first and goal from the Indians’ 2-yard line, and Swinney stepped in on the next play.
Sandy Creek turned two interceptions into touchdowns to go up 21-0. Micah Solomon’s interception and return to the Sandy Creek 46 set up the first one, a 57-yard screen pass from Garvin to Swinney.
Two plays later, the Patriots’ Brian Miller grabbed a tipped ball at the East Coweta 40 and sprinted down the middle for the score.
A 33-yard punt return by Demarre Kitt set Sandy Creek up at the East Coweta 38, and Garvin found Justin Sumpter down the right sideline for another touchdown with 1:01 left in the first period.
Easet Coweta got on the board with a nine-play, 54-yard drive , scoring on a 13-yard pass from Bryce Gemmel to Jacob Bergstrom.
Markell Boston’s 36-yard punt return pulled the Indians within 28-14, but Sandy Creek drove 89-yards in 11 plays to extend the lead to 34-14.
Sandy Creek 28 6 7 13 – 54
East Coweta 0 14 0 21– 35
SC – Eric Swinney 2 run (Matthew Davenport kick)
SC – Swinney 57 pass from Cole Garvin (Davenport kick)
SC – Brian Miller 40 interception return (Davenport kick)
SC – Justin Sumpter 38 pass from Garvin (Davenport kick)
EC – Jacob Bergstrom 13 pass from Bryce Gemmel (Cole Antley kick)
EC – Markell Boston 36 punt return (Antley kick)
SC – Swinney 10 run (kick failed)
SC – Swinney 5 run (Davenport kick)
EC – Malik Robinson 15 run (Antley kick)
EC – E.J. Ransom 53 pass from Gemmel (Antley kick)
SC – Sumpter 9 pass from Garvin (Davenport kick)
SC – Maceo Brown 31 run (kick failed)
EC – Ransom 20 pass from Gemmel (Antley kick)