Gilmer wins thriller; No. 1 Sandy Creek makes statement

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.

42 comments Add your comment

CoffeeC100

November 2nd, 2013
9:43 am

Prayers and good thoughts for Caleb, his family and his team.

Bracket Buster

November 2nd, 2013
9:51 am

I got to watch Carrollton finally play a competitive team last night and the result was embarrassing. 88 yards total offense? I knew it was bad but did not realize it was that low. With all the college talent on this Carrollton team, there are no excuses for that performance on their home field. Poor preparation by the coaches maybe I don’t know but I do know Carrollton is not in the same class as Sandy Creek. Not even close.

Sportsnut

November 2nd, 2013
10:03 am

We have Caleb and his family and the entire Cedartown community in our thoughts and prayers.

Go Trojans!

November 2nd, 2013
10:30 am

I don’t think it was simply Carrollton playing poorly. The Creek handed it to us and was clearly the better team on both offense and defense. I hadn’t seen SC play but the reports of their defense being weak or not up to their standards are obviously simply not true.

I’m not sure how Monroe and Griffin (along with others) match up with SC but we obviously don’t. Would love to see them again in the playoffs but would need a much better game plan and execution to believe we would have a chance.

Too many athlete’s at Carrollton to have that poor a performance. Disappointing at best.

Hat’s off to SC. There is a reason they are 3 out of 4 State Champs over the past 4 years.

BRW

November 2nd, 2013
11:07 am

I believe you have the 7-AAAA and 8-AAAA paragraphs swapped. MA is definitely in 8-AAAA not 7-AAAA.

AJC

November 2nd, 2013
12:03 pm

@BRW: Thanks. Fixing.

Bracket Buster

November 2nd, 2013
12:16 pm

Well said Go Trojans! Maybe last night will wake the Trojans up for a great playoff run. I have watched Carrollton’s likely second round opponent Monroe once this year and feel that the Trojans have the athlete’s to match up well with them. Monroe has an incredible set of skilled players but I am not sure they have the defense and special teams from what I saw to go deep into the playoffs. Their region is very weak and they have handled all opponents easily with no challenges until last night when they were missing five starters and still beat the second best team in the region. Not many teams could do that. Carrollton has fared very well against region 8AAAA over the years and it looks like they will get another chance this year as well.

FirstDownCreeekkk!!!

November 2nd, 2013
12:38 pm

@Go Trojans, Much Respect for that acknowledgement of SC’s effort at Carrollton last night. Your defense gave great effort but they just could not get off of the field on critical 3rd down situations. On offense, your coaching staff did not give your boys a chance. The first series with your QB in the shotgun spread and your speed in space scared us top death! When Teague went back to the Wing-T after the opening drive, we were dumbfounded but GLAD! It became 2012 all over again. Our boys had seen and played against it once, so it was nothing new. Thus our defense took over. Pulling for Trojans as they represent 5-AAAA. Let’s hook back up in the championship!

Trojan94

November 2nd, 2013
10:52 pm

Once again Chip walker out coached Teague in a big game. in the 12 years Teague has been at carrollton that was his worst coached game we’ve seen, only giving your playmakers at Runningback 9 carries total between 3 players is pitiful.

Trojan94

November 2nd, 2013
11:07 pm

I’ve read all of this stuff about carrollton being overrated let’s not forget Creek have beaten a lot of teams over the years not just us. Fact of the matter carrollton is still a dangerous team one bad game doesn’t tell a whole story playoff time is around the corner for all others teams who thinks carrollton is dead in the water after one game, we are still here and still standing….Sandy Creek we shall see ya’ll again in the Georgia Dome Good luck to ya’ll in the playoffs

Just a Fan

November 3rd, 2013
8:48 am

If your only satisfaction is winning the state championship each year then give up hs football now. It seems so many are unhappy with a great season. The teams building dynasties for thr biggest part have a large number of transfers-this includes Sc and many others largely in the urban areas. Be happy that you dont live in these areas and appreciate your team and the local players that comprise it.

HookemHorns

November 3rd, 2013
10:17 am

The Lanier Longhorns could be the sleeper in AAAA. They are still very young but have an explosive offense. Tario Fuller might be the best running back you have never heard of. The defense has been stellar and they have 3 outstanding linebackers. Great accomplishment making the playoffs in only there 2nd season of Varisty. This is a program on the rise!!! Ready for the playoffs!!!!!

Old Bear

November 3rd, 2013
1:19 pm

Looks like Sandy Creek is the only real team in their region. The rest are also-rans. I bet if SC played Carrollton 10 times, the Patriots would win 8 of them. It just took a while for Carrollton to get exposed. And the Trojans aren’t bad; they just aren’t top 5 material.

This isn’t an isolated situation. It occurs over and over in the state’s regions. I’m guessing that maybe 5 regions are even competitive top to middle, much less top to bottom. The rest have one really strong team and another one or two that’s trying to get over the hump. The remainder are mediocre programs that spring an upset here and there.

That’s why I like the playoffs.

Old Bear

November 3rd, 2013
1:24 pm

@ Just a Fan – I wondered how SC became such an elite team after getting beaten consistently their first couple of years. I just figured it took a while for the program to adjust to the players, and vise versa. Recruiting is an easy excuse, that’s for sure.

Old Bear

November 3rd, 2013
1:44 pm

The shockers of Friday, to me, were Statesboro losing to Wayne County and Mary Persons going down to Veterans. MP had been playing like a team on as mission the last month and a half in 2-AAAA, and Statesboro appeared to be the class of R3.

These region play-in games just make no sense. In R4-AAAA, Dutchtown (and their 3-6 record) stands a chance, but not a great one, of knocking #3 Griffin from the state playoffs, and other regions have to go through this inane system, too. Dutchtown scored almost half as many points against Griffin in one game (35) as the Bears gave up in 8 other games (48), so it’s not out of the realm of possibility for an upset to occur. This begs the question – “Do these regions really want the best teams, those who have proven they can handle their region opponents to advance to the state playoffs, or do they want their body of work over the season to become secondary to what might happen in one game? Why not just ignore the season records and pull 8 schools out of a hat (four for each subregion)? I just don’t get the logic behind this system.

Trojan94

November 3rd, 2013
1:53 pm

@just a fan you keep hinting around the fact that you think SC is cheating with the transfer comments.I for one could care less if they was or not no matter were your talent come from they have to be COACHED up for the most part the carrollton coaching staff do a good job of getting the kids to play sound football But teagues big game management sucks! The Trojan Nation is only asking for A state title not too much to ask for don’t you think? This community will and have backed Teague for years but now its time to deliver the goods its been long enough way too much talent to lose by 17 points and only 88 yards of offense the kids deserve better so dose this community. So don’t give me that all we care about is a state championship stuff that what that’s what they play the game for and EVERYBODY was looking at can carrollton measure up to the best and the answer because of coaching is an emphatic NO. Teague need to take lessons on how to coach big game from coach walker. Sorry if you are ok with how our program is doing if that’s the case. i’m not the only one in the Trojan nation that feels this way maybe it’s time for a change!

Patriot Power

November 3rd, 2013
2:05 pm

I expect Carrollton to win the other side of the bracket. Our defense’s unintentional “rope-a-dope” may have lulled the Trojans into thinking it wasn’t that good. Heck, it lulled me into thinking that. Injuries and suspensions really affected the play of our defense from the second half of the Plant game to the Alexander game. The LaGrange game was the first one where our defense really showed how good they were.

Just a Fan

November 3rd, 2013
2:38 pm

Old Bear I have never used the word “recruited”-as far as i can remember-I often refer to the published report last year that showed the number of athletic transfers for each school;some had as many as 50.As I have said before it is legal under current regulations as long as requirements are met-it just tilts the balance in some areas.Trojan 94-boast and be happy while winning-but a loss?Something must be wrong because we are better than any other team-yep,must be the coach.Patriot Power-not everyone realizes that the defense that played Alexander is not the comp-lete defense that played Carrollton-good luck on representing R5.

Just a Fan

November 3rd, 2013
2:47 pm

T94-cheating is a big word -improve your reading skills-I have discussed transfers many times because I think its changing the game-but “cheating”&”recruiting” have not and will not be used. Keep in mind we are all just stating our personal opinions here.Now the question is can Carrollton beat MA in round(round 1 should be a win(looks like NW Whitfield a competetive team in their region)

patriotmomforever

November 3rd, 2013
3:56 pm

I are so tried of this about SC boys. I have a son on the team. Yes, dynasty are built, these Senior have been play with each other or against each other since the Fayette County rec days. This Senior class won the first Middle School Championship with a perfect record and won all there games on the 9th grade

Trojan94

November 3rd, 2013
4:57 pm

I read between the lines why do you keep bringing up tranfers? Who cares about tranfers! That’s not what got carrollton beat it’s COACHING! Sandy Creek have a dynasy because of COACHING! I’m tired of hearing about the transfer issue if it ain’t SC its Buford if it ain’t Buford its someone else get over it! Its all about x’s and o’s something Teague forgets in big games, What about team like cairo peach co statesbroro northside wr and lagrange just to name a few who have all won state titles during the Teague era that i never heard the transfer issue about?

patriotmomforever

November 3rd, 2013
5:24 pm

Just giving our boys some credit and yes we have great coach.

itsonlywrite

November 3rd, 2013
5:53 pm

wow… cant believe Statesboro lost.

#ELEPHANTNATION

High 5

November 3rd, 2013
7:48 pm

Why does Sandy Creek have such a crappy stadium?

Just a Fan

November 4th, 2013
8:49 am

T-94:At least we should be able to agree to disagree-I still contend that we are stating opinions here. We lost-life goes on .

Trojan94

November 4th, 2013
1:16 pm

You’re right life goes on. Lets move on lagrange is next.

Yawner

November 4th, 2013
1:31 pm

@High5.. Cause that’s what was built 20+ years ago for them. While the enrollment has surpassed all the forecasted projections for the school no additional money has been supplied to upgrade the facilities or expand classrooms or anything else. Fayette County Board of Education could care less about Sandy Creek. Cold hard truth.

Just a Fan

November 4th, 2013
1:36 pm

T94-Right! What is your take on the possible opponent for round 2? Looks like NW Whitfield or Cedartown-I put Carrollton as a favorite in either one. Then there is Monroe Area which should be an interesting game. The season is not over-lets prove some people wrong-like the blogger who says only 1 decent team in R5.

Trojan94

November 5th, 2013
3:07 am

@just a fan funny you asked that question me and some other family and friends was talking about nick chubb and my nephew was saying cedartown is a one man show and cedartown can’t beat a good team with one man now my nephew is only 22 years old so I expected him to say something like that so we started telling him about worth co and Robert Toomer and how he came to carrollton and beat one of the best carrollton teams of the 90’s. We was just trying to tell him a Runningback of his caliber can get it done we’ve seen it……to tell you the truth I would rather see NW Whitfield or Monroe area than cedartown because cedartown is a rivalry some how some way they always make that game a very close game when both teams are good.

Creek Rising!!!

November 5th, 2013
8:11 am

I’m so glad that SC built its program on transfers. Most of the guys I see on the field were in our district since middle school. The majority played for Flat Rock which is directly across the street from Sandy Creek. Oddly, Flat Rock tends to win the championship every year so maybe they are recruiting or getting all the transfers of which you speak. I don’t know who all of the great additions are that transferred to SC this year because the kids that are out there making tackles and scoring points were all here last season and the season before that. Since you are just a fan and don’t have a horse in this race, maybe you should find something better to do with your time other than trying to defame schools for being successful. We hear this story every year, but then we find Creek has less transfers than most other schools and no one even mentions how many transfer out of the school.

Just a Fan

November 5th, 2013
9:44 am

T94-yeah but Cedartown does not have the defense to make it close this year-I think they will be #4 seed-can’t see them beating NWWhitfield.The good news is the game will be at Carrollton.

Just a Fan

November 5th, 2013
9:50 am

Creek Rising-go back and read the posts-I think you will find that the one who accused Sc of being built on transfers was actually someone from Griffin who infered that I said it. I write often of the mass transfers changing the game-not just 1 school. Sc has less that most- I think only 12 or 13 athletic transfers last year. Get your facts straight before you start the personal attacks and I will let you know if and when I need your advice on managing my time.

Board_Ref

November 5th, 2013
12:24 pm

I have my hand on the flag..ready to let it fly on Creek Rising!!!

trojan power

November 5th, 2013
2:32 pm

Look Sandy creek had every reason to out play Trojans. Ajc had carrollton 13pt favs vs sandy creek. Everbody was saying we were gone destroy them. Well guess wat that pumped them and there coach up. And the better team won. Our defense looked good. Just stayed on the field to long. Offense play calling was in question. The thing is now we have a very very easy road to the dome. We will destoy Monroe area in the 2nd round. Then a cake walk. You cant compare another team to Sandy Creek they are elite like Alabama. But we learned from our loss. Our arrogance is gone! Thanks Creek! We will be ready next time. Also with them winning the region they have to play griffin in the 3rd round. Which is not rite. But they will crush them. See yall in the dome!!!!

WarEagle

November 5th, 2013
2:41 pm

@trojan power: I don’t think you can say “Our arrogance is gone” in the same paragraph where you say “The thing is now we have a very very easy road to the dome.” Carrollton is an excellent team. There are several other very good teams out there as well. Maybe Carrollton should earn the wins before you brag about them.

Trojan94

November 5th, 2013
3:08 pm

just a fan – yeah cedartown do give up points but nobody stops them on offense either. I think nick chubb is the real deal and would be load to handle plus factor in the rivalry aspect between the two schools and you have a heck of a first round match up.

trojan power

November 5th, 2013
4:17 pm

Yeah there are other good teams in AAAA. But none of them have played sandy creek. Who are the reigning champs. Who also brought back there whole offense. So to judge carrollton on this lose is crazy. Sandy Creek can beat any team in any classification in the state. Yall will see. Just like last year when they crushed all these so called good teams. Yall fans can keep your hopes up. But it will be Carrollton Vs Sandy Creek in the Dome for a Rematch!!! This time we will be the underdogs. Like 3 years ago. Our offensive talent wasnt showcased. Next time that wont be the case. Thanks for that wimpin CHIP WALKER. We are already making adjustments! See u in the dome!

trojan power

November 5th, 2013
4:22 pm

@ Trojan 94. Don’t lose your swagger we will destroy cedartown. They loss to who? Gilmer County. Who is that? We would put 50 up on them. You have to be able to throw the ball extremely well threw play action to beat us.Like Nationaly ranked Sandy Creek.

Just a Fan

November 5th, 2013
4:44 pm

The next several weeks will sort out a lot of teams. I surely hope that we do not see another defense like SC. I think the 1st round will be a Carrollton win-if not we are not in the top 20! Round 2 will be interesting with Monroe Area. I hope they have plenty of visitors seats. Its hard to guage the strength of 1 region against another at this stage-round 2 will begin to answer that. Round 3 with SC vs Griffin will be interesting also-I think SC has been tested more at this point(and passed).

Big cat 84

November 5th, 2013
5:04 pm

I think at this point everyone has to be on their A game.. All it takes is a hot team and all could be lost for the so called favs.. And for some there are now blueprints to how they can be beaten!! Let the playoffs begin!!

badbrad

November 5th, 2013
9:53 pm

All these Carrollton fans saying they will meet SC in the finals in the dome are the same ones saying they were going to beat SC last week. You better just take them one at a time or you wont get close to the dome.

Just a Fan

November 6th, 2013
8:56 am

Bad Brad-we both know that the majority of Carrollton fans are worried about round 2-not the ones after that. To get to the dome there are a lot of good teams in the path:Monroe A;Stockbridge,Marist,R3?. We also assume(and hope) that none of these teams will have the defensive capabilities that SC has. A lot of people might have written off the Trojans too early,the next few weeks will tell one way or the other.