Collins Hill not only won the battle of Suwanee, they knocked off the No. 1 team in the state, with a runaway 53-28 win over North Gwinnett.
The Eagles’ Tyler Herman threw three touchdowns, two to Rhyan England, and Tyler Henderson and Quentin Jones also scored twice to lift the Eagles, who beat their city rivals for the first time since 2005. Both teams are 7-1 and 5-1 in Region 7-AAAAAA. The upset creates a three-way tie atop Region 7-AAAAAA between the two schools and Norcross.
Featuring two of the highest scoring teams in the state, the game featured highlight reel plays throughout. North Gwinnett, which was ranked in the Top 20 nationally, took its only lead of the game early in the third quarter when CJ Leggett ran for a 28-yard score and a 25-24 lead.
But Collins Hill regained the lead on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Herman to Quentin Jones. After a North Gwinnett field goal, Herman padded the lead with a 12-yard run to give Collins Hill a 39-28 lead with seconds left in the third quarter.
And the Eagles, who scored 68 points last week in a win over Meadowcreek, were far from finished.
Herman connected with England for their second touchdown play of more than 50 yards, this a 54-yarder, early in the final period for a 46-28 lead. The Eagles finished their scoring spree with a seven-yard touchdown run by Henderson, who finished with 107 yards. Herman completed 20 of 31 passes for 280 yards.
Any chances the Bulldogs had of mounting a comeback were lessened by the loss of their quarterback, Hayden Sphire, who left the game with a leg injury in the second quarter. His final play was an 80-yard touchdown toss to Nate Brown. Sphire rode a stationary bike after the injury but never returned. Caleb Scott led all receivers with 12 catches for 187 yards.
Collins Hill started the game by scoring on its first two possessions to take a 10-0 first-quarter lead. After an Ian Morrison 26-yard field goal, Jones took a screen pass from Herman and raced down the left sideline for a 26-yard score.
North responded with an 80-yard drive, in which Scott caught four passes for 60 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown from Sphire. Dante Sawyer plowed in for the two-point conversion.
On its ensuing drive, Collins Hill scored again to take a 17-8 lead. Henderson capped the 10-play, 79-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown, weaving through the Bulldogs’ defense. The Eagles needed just three plays to find the end zone again. Herman scrambled out of the collapsing pocket and running left, zipped a pass to England who was wide open downfield. The 50-yard touchdown gave Collins Hill a 24-8 lead with seven minutes left in the first half.
The Bulldogs answered immediately with Sphire finding Brown in the seam and the senior receiver did the rest, racing 80 yards for the touchdown to cut the lead to 24-15. North, which averages more than 40 points per game, finished with more than 300 yards passing as receivers Brown, Scott and Almonzo Brown made big plays with long runs after the catch, but it wasn’t enough.
Both quarterbacks were sharp in the first half. Herman completed 14 of 19 pass for 185 yards and Sphire completed 8 of 11 for 172 yards.
North Gwinnett – 8 – 7 – 13 – 0 – 28
Collins Hill – 10 – 14 – 15 – 14 – 53
C – Ian Morrison 26 FG
C – Quentin Jones 26 pass from Tyler Herman (Morrison kick)
NG – Caleb Scott 3 pass from Hayden Sphire
C – Tyler Henderson 19 run (Morrison kick)
C – Rhyan England 50 pass from Herman (Morris kick)
NG – Nate Brown 80 pass from Sphire (Michael D’Angola kick)
NG – CJ Leggett 28 run (D’Angola kick)
C – Jones 15 run (Dwayne Smith pass from Herman two-point conversion)
NG – D’Angola 39 FG
C – Herman 12 run (Morrison kick)
C – England 54 pass from Herman (Morrison kick)
C – Henderson 7 run (Morrison kick)