Camden County vs Norcross
The only unbeaten team in Class 6A remained that way after the quarterfinals. The Norcross Blue Devils went into Chris Gillman Stadium, home of the Camden County Wildcats and came away with a 34-20 victory to improve to 13-0 on the season and claim their spot in the semifinals. Stand out athlete Alvin Kamara sealed the game with a 9-yard touchdown run with 5:12 left in the 4th quarter for the final margin. Kamara also threw a touchdown pass of 30-yards to Trey Smith, Smith caught two touchdowns on the evening.
Myles Autry got the scoring started for the Blue Devils catching a 33-yard touchdown pass from Joseph Wilbur to give the Blue Devils the early 7-0 lead. Camden County would answer right back getting a 5-yard touchdown run by J.J Green. That touchdown marked Green’s 51st touchdown which is a Camden school record and he also moved into first place in Camden history for most points scored with 306 on that touchdown. Green, who finished with only 44 yards rushing on 12 carries, would add to his record a few possessions later with another 5-yard touchdown run to give Camden a 14-7 lead. The touchdown was set up by and 85-yard interception return by Grant Gabriel to the Norcross 5-yard line. Green finished his career at Camden County with 52 touchdowns and 312 points scored.
Norcross would fight right back getting touchdown on a Joseph Wilbur 6-yard run however still trailed 14-13 after a missed extra-point. Camden aided Norcross on the drive by committing three costly 15-yard penalties, two of which came on third down. Kamara’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Trey Smith gave the Blue Devils a 19-14 lead with 2:26 left in the first half. That score would hold until halftime.
Camden opened the second half and drove right down the field covering 43 yards in only three plays as Chris Williams raced 30 yards for a touchdown to give Camden the lead back 20-19 with 10:57 left in the third. Camden would go for the two-point conversion but failed after Williams fumbled before he crossed the goal line.
Norcross would seize the momentum of the game when Jordan Noil intercepted Camden County quarterback Bruce Ramsey with 2:16 left in the third and from there Norcross would milk the clock. Ramsey entered the game with only one interception on the season but was picked off twice against Norcross. Norcross will host Colquitt County in the semifinals next week. The Blue Devils defeated the Packers in and August scrimmage at Colquitt so the teams are not unfamiliar to each other. This was Norcross’ first game that counted in the standing outside of the Metro Atlanta area in the school history since at least the mid 1950’s. Camden County finishes 11-2 on the season and have had their season end each of the past three years in the playoffs at home.
Lovejoy vs North Gwinnett
Lovejoy has scored points upon points this season however it was their defense that would flex their muscle in a 21-6 win over the North Gwinnett Bulldogs. Midway through the third quarter leading 7-3 Lovejoy’s scoring defense would show up when Veion Robinson forced a sack fumble on North Gwinnett quarterback Michael Haynes that was scoped up by Tyrell Brown who raced 40 yards for the defensive touchdown giving Lovejoy a 14-3 lead and swinging the momentum fully in their favor.
“Isn’t he sweet? That was a great job by the defense”, Lovejoy head coach Al Hughes responded when asked about that play and the play of his defense overall. Hughes praised his defensive coaches for putting together a great game plan and crediting his players for living up to the billing before firmly stating, “they are the best defense in the state of Georgia”. Lovejoy’s defense recorded eight sacks and held North Gwinnett to 129 yards of total offense.
North Gwinnett would not go away as they have done all season would capitalize on an errant snap after Lovejoy lined up to punt that was recovered at the Lovejoy 26 yard line. North Gwinnett’s Michael D’Angola would nail a 37-yard field goal to keep North Gwinnett within striking distance at 14-6 with 5:31 remaining in the game.
“They were well coached and they put a lot of people in the box obviously to take away Travis [Custis]. The game just didn’t feel right to us…coming out there slinging it all over the place, which we do that pretty well too but we felt like we needed to play a little closer to the cuff and even though they had more people in the box than we could handle, we just tried to blow it up in there and try to make that clock work [for us] and hope Travis would break one and he finally did”, Hughes said afterwards.
Lovejoy would kill all of North Gwinnett’s hopes on their next possession. Facing third down and eight on the North Gwinnett 46, Alejandro Bennefiled would toss a 45-yard strike to JuMichael Ramos (103 yards receiving) and the ball was moved to the 1-yard line after a North Gwinnett penalty. From their Travis Custis would score his second touchdown of the game on a one yard plunge for the final 21-6 margin. The final tally on the drive, 7-plays 73-yards. Custis finished with 129 yards and two touchdowns while Bennefield passed for 129 yards. Lovejoy (12-1) advances to the semifinals to face North Cobb.
“The tank ran out on us tonight, they are a good football team”, North Gwinnett head coach Bob Sphire said afterward.
Sphire’s team finished 11-2 in a season where they lost a good chunk of their coaching staff before the season, breaking in a brand new quarterback and played with an undersized defense outside of defensive linemen Dante Sawyer and linebacker Jaylen Brooks.
North Cobb vs Mill Creek
North Cobb (10-2) advanced to the semifinals with a 42-35 win over Mill Creek. North Cobb quarterback Tyler Queen rushed for four touchdowns (4, 4, 1, 3) and passed for another to Xavier Borishade. Cameron Albright also tossed a touchdown pass to Borishade in the win. Mill Creek’s Jacorey Lewis final game as a Hawk ended with him rushing for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Daniel David rushed for two more touchdowns and passed for one for Mill Creek (9-4) .
Parkview vs Colquitt County
Parkview (9-4) led 7-0 at the half and allowed Colquitt County to run only 16 plays in the first half. In the second half it was all Colquitt County (10-3) as they won yet another road playoff game (11-2) under head Coach Rush Propst since 2009. Colquitt would rip off 31 unanswered points getting a Cole Seagraves touchdown run, two touchdown passes of 35 and 10 yards from Seagraves (to Bobby Hill and Toddarian Boyd respectively), a Will Bannister field goal and capped it with a John Boatwright 2-yard touchdown run making it 31-7 just like that. Parkview added a late touchdown by Richard Walker and would convert the two-point conversion for the final 31-15 margin. Colquitt will hit the road again next week to face Norcross, who they lost to in a preseason scrimmage on August 17th.