By David Purdum / For the AJC
A.J. Bush capped a 14-play, 90-yard drive with a touchdown run with one minute left, rallying No. 6 Norcross past No. 10 Peachtree Ridge, 24-20, on Friday at the Blue Devils field.
Bush completed six passes on the drive, including a strike to Darian Dennis on 4th and 11, to lead the defending champions to their sixth straight win. Norcross (7-2, 6-1 Region 7-AAAAAA) kept its region title hopes alive with the win, despite being called for 16 penalties for 141 yards and committing four turnovers.
Chance Thrasher threw two touchdown passes, and Evan Pantels made a pair of field goals in the second half for Peachtree Ridge (6-2, 4-2 7-AAAAAA). Thrasher threw touchdowns to Myron Burton and Tyler Chandler, and Pantels connected of kicks of 21 and 42 yards in the second half for the Lions.
Peachtree Ridge had one last chance after Norcross took the lead, but Emmanuel Aka sacked Thrasher on fourth down to seal the win.
Somehow Norcross took a 17-14 lead into halftime, despite turning it over four times in the first two quarters. Josh Boyd had a 58-yard touchdown run to put Norcross ahead 7-0 in the first quarter.
DeAngelo Gibbs’ interception set up Peachtree Ridge’s first score, a 3-yard touchdown pass from Thrasher to Burton.
Peachtree Ridge capitalized on a muffed punt and a personal foul penalty on Norcross to take its first lead. Thrasher hit Campbell on a crossing route for a 9-yard touchdown that put the Lions ahead, 14-10, late in the second quarter.
Norcross answered with an 80-yard scoring drive to regain the lead before the half. The drive was highlighted by a 45-yard leaping reception by Clinton Lynch and capped by a 5-yard touchdown pass from Bush to Myles Autry with 30 seconds left in the first half. Autry also had a big 15-yard reception on the winning drive.
Peachtree Ridge 0 14 3 3 — 20
Norcross 7 10 0 7 — 24
N – Josh Boyd 58 run (Blake Bingham kick)
P – Myron Burton 3 pass from Chance Thrasher (Evan Pantels kick)
N – Bingham 22 field goal
P – Tyler Campbell 6 pass from Thrasher (Pantels kick)
N – Myles Autry 4 pass from A.J. Bush (Bingham kick)
P – Pantels 21 field goal
P – Pantels 43 field goal
N – Bush 6 run (Bingham kick)