By David Purdum / For the AJC
Gilmer clinched a spot in the Region 7-AAAA championship game with a 38-35 victory over previously unbeaten Cedartown.
With the score tied, 35-35, Nathan Bradley tipped a pass and Johnie Flakes intercepted it with 20 seconds to play, setting up Manny Lopez’s winning field. The Bobcats overcame another big performance from Cedartown running back Nick Chubb. A Georgia commitment, Chubb rushed for 281 yards and four touchdowns and had an interception and forced a fumble for the Bulldogs. Flakes scored four touchdowns for Gilmer.
Cedartown defensive back Caleb Ely sustained a head injury during Friday’s game against Gilmer and was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent surgery. Read more about Ely’s status here.
Statement: Any questions about defending champion and top-ranked Sandy Creek not living up to expectations were answered in a dominating 24-7 win over No. 2 Carrollton. The Patriots possessed the ball for more than 32 minutes and limited the Trojans to just 88 total yards. Carrollton entered the game averaging 50.2 points per game, but went 0 for 7 on third downs. Sandy Creek has won 41 consecutive region contests and clinched its sixth consecutive region championship.
Region champs: No. 4 Monroe Area captured the Region 8-AAAA title with a 28-21 win over Chestatee. The Purple Hurricanes were missing seven players, who were suspended for fighting in last week’s game against Madison County, including starting quarterback Stanton Truitt. Kwan Brooks rushed for 110 yards and a score, and Michael Gallup threw for a touchdown and rushed for another for Monroe Area.
First-time champs: Westover and Veterans clinched the schools’ first region titles with wins on Friday night. Westover knocked off Worth County to seal the 1-AAAA title. Veterans handed No. 6 Mary Persons its first loss, 10-0, to capture the 2-AAAA title. The Warhawks’ defense limited Mary Persons to just 74 total yards.Veterans opened the season with three straight losses, but won its next six games to earn a home playoff game, under coach David Bruce.
Upset: No. 10 Wayne County upset No. 5 Statesboro, 7-6, to earn a spot in the Region 3-AAAA championship game against Burke County. Burke County scored eight rushing touchdowns in a 62-0 rout of Butler on Friday.
Record-setter: Pickens running back Shannon Brooks rushed for 276 yards and three touchdowns, and linebacker Thomas Howard has 22 tackles in the Dragons’ 41-21 win over River Ridge. Brooks has 1,529 rushing yards, breaking the school record for rushing yards in a season. Howard is the program’s all-time leading tackler.