In many ways, McIntosh’s 35-15 win over Whitewater Friday night was a history-making event for the Peachtree City school.
Long known for soccer and cross country, the Chiefs posted their first win over the visiting Wildcats, improving to 6-0 for the first time in school history.
The win also matched the McIntosh school record for single-season wins and opened their Region 4-AAAAA Division B slate with a win.
In seven previous meetings before Friday night, Whitewater had scored an average of 38 points against McIntosh, including a 48-13 drubbing in 2012.
“I don’t think they respected us much after last year,” said McIntosh quarterback Andrew Johnson, who passed for 158 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for a fourth TD. “Hopefully they respect us now.”
McIntosh outgained the visiting Wildcats 338-253, and 142 of Whitewater’s offensive yards came on two plays.
What was likely the biggest win in school history was no fluke.
“It’s a big win,” said McIntosh coach Lee Belknap, “but we don’t want this to be the biggest thing to happen to us this year.”
Victor Nguyen rushed for 98 yards on 15 carries, scoring the final touchdown.
McIntosh took the initial lead on Johnson’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Josh Ange at the 5:34 mark in the second quarter, finishing off a 52-yard drive. The key play came on fourth down and 6 from the Whitewater 48. McIntosh quick-snapped the punt and caught the Wildcats (5-2, 1-1 Region 4-AAAAA Division B) with too many players on the field. After the penalty, Johnson snuck two yards for the first down, and the Chiefs scored three plays later.
“We had to be aggressive tonight and take some chances because you don’t beat a program like that being conservative,” said Lee Belknap.
The story of the first half was the McIntosh defense, which held the Wildcats to 71 total yards and two first downs, one of which came on a personal foul penalty.
McIntosh went up 14-0 on a 6-yard pass from Johnson to Ange, finishing a 17-play, 84-yard drive consumed more than eight minutes of the third period clock.
Whitewater answered with a 4-yard run by Christian Wafford on the first play of the fourth quarter, and after an off-side penalty on the extra-point try, Whitewater pulled within 14-8 on Wafford’s 2-point run.
Johnson’s 4-yard run with 6:08 left gave McIntosh a 21-8 lead and pushed the Chiefs’ crowd to the brink of celebration, but after a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, Whitewater’s Josh Alexander hauled in an 80-yard touchdown pass from Jay Ashley to cut the lead to six.
McIntosh put the game out of reach, driving 70 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 32-yard pass from Johnson to Sean Ingram on fourth down.
Whitewater 0 0 0 15 – 15
McIntosh 0 7 7 21 – 35
M – Josh Ange 4 pass from Andrew Johnson (Nick Alvey kick)
M – Ange 6 pass from Johnson (Alvey kick)
W – Christian Wafford 4 run (Wafford run)
M – Johnson 4 run (Alvey kick)
W – Josh Alexander 80 pass from Jay Ashley (Liam Voigt kick)
M – Sean Ingram 32 pass from Johnson (Alvey kick)
M – Victor Nguyen 3 run (Alvey kick)