By Robert Haddocks
Archer relied on its big-play offense and steady defense and rolled to a 34-21 win over Grayson. The Tigers – in just their fifth season – completed a perfect regular season, finishing 10-0, 8-0 in Region 8-AAAAAA.
Archer, the only undefeated team in its class, assured itself of home field advantage throughout the opening rounds of the playoffs.
KJ Parmer sparked the Tigers, running, throwing and catching a touchdown. The senior receiver caught five passes for 131 yards. Quarterback Gabe Tiller threw for a touchdown (his 22nd on the season) and ran for a score.
Archer led 20-14 at the half but opened up its lead on its first drive. Parmer had catches of 27 and 37 yards on the drive and then finished it with a 5-yard touchdown run. Tiller’s 3-yard touchdown run increased the lead to 34-14 with four minutes left in the third, essentially salting away the victory. The Tigers’ defense was stout, limiting Grayson to 121 yards rushing on 40 carries. Robbie Armstrong, John Gillis, Korrin Moore and Duane Lee made impact plays.
Grayson (4-5, 4-3) closed the gap to 34-21 on a 20-yard run by Cameryn Brent in the final minutes.
Archer, which scored 48 points last week in a win over South Gwinnett, wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. On the Tigers’ second play from scrimmage, Tiller threw a lateral to Parmer who found Dylan Singleton 10 yards behind the defense for an easy 55-yard touchdown.
The Tigers needed only three plays on their second drive with Parmer on the receiving end of a perfect pass by Tiller for a 58-yard touchdown. Tiller completed 18 of 24 passes for 197 yards on the night.
Archer took a 20-0 lead early in the second period, this time using four plays, when Randy Nails busted loose for a 42-yard score.
It looked like Archer was on its way to some serious payback for a 48-0 defeat in last year’s meeting between the teams, but Grayson climbed back in the game with touchdowns on its next two drives to cut the lead to 20-14. Taking advantage of a short field, the Rams scored on a 25-yard pass from Chase Brice to Ryan Carriere, who was open in the corner of the end zone. Grayson converted a fourth-and-one at the 30-yard line to sustain the six-play 39-yard drive.
After forcing a three-and-out, Grayson scored again. Lined up as a receiver, Brice took and end around and hit Cedric Asseh, who was wide open, for a 35-yard touchdown.
Archer – 13 – 7 – 14 – 0 – 34
Grayson – 0 – 14 – 0 – 7 – 21
A – Dylan Singleton 55 pass from KJ Parmer (kick failed)
A – Parmer 58 pass from Gabe Tiller (Michael Frye kick)
A – Randy Nails 42 run (Frye kick)
G – Ryan Carriere 25 pass from Chase Brice (Austin Hoyt kick)
G – Cedric Asseh 35 pass from Brice (Hoyt kick)
A – Parmer 5 run (Frye kick)
A – Tiller 3 run (Frye kick)
G – Cameryn Brent 20 run (Hoyt kick)