GAC machine too much for Lumpkin football

  • Joseph Allison and Trey Wilkes converge on GAC’s quarterback for a sack during the Indians’ loss to the Spartans.
    Joseph Allison and Trey Wilkes converge on GAC’s quarterback for a sack during the Indians’ loss to the Spartans.
Body

LCHS head football coach Caleb Sorrells and the Indians varsity football team weren’t able to take down conference powerhouse Greater Atlanta Christian (GAC) when the two teams met up at Spartan Stadium for a Region 7-AAA matchup on Friday, Oct. 25, but the first-year coach was optimistic about the positives he saw from his team on the gridiron.
“We want to be defined by our effort,” said Sorrells. “This is the primary, most important thing we want to do. They competed and had fun and came out with energy. That was the goal and they accomplished that. Now, we just need to build on that attitude.”
The Indians’ defense won the first battle of the night when they stopped the No.4-ranked Spartans from picking up a first down on the opening drive of the game. The three-and-out had Lumpkin’s sideline pumped up.
Lumpkin didn’t fare much better than their counterparts on their opening drive of the contest and were forced to punt after picking up five yards off a two-yard run by LCHS quarterback Tucker Kirk and a four-yard completion to LCHS wide receiver Brian Cunane.
The Spartans’ offense took to the field with a vengeance on their second drive of the game. GAC went 53 yards on four plays to go ahead of Lumpkin 7-0. The drive ended when GAC quarterback Jackson Hardy threw a dart to GAC wide receiver Zac Mixon for a 21-yard touchdown reception.
After another three-and-out by the Indians’ offense, the Spartans struck again when Hardy scampered his way to a 24-yard touchdown run on a quarterback keeper. Hardy’s touchdown gave GAC a 14-0 lead with 3:20 left in the first quarter.
The Spartans scored four more times in the first half, including a two-yard touchdown run by Spartan running back Tre Henry, a 10-yard touchdown pass to GAC wide receiver Christian Thomas, a 71-yard touchdown pass to Spartan receiver Jake Hicks and a last second touchdown pass to Thomas from two yards out.
The Spartans held a 35-0 lead with 4:54 left in the first half, and it looked as though the Indians would go into the halftime break without a score.
However, the Indians had a couple of tricks up their sleeves and converted two fake punt plays and a trick play to score their only touchdown of the game with 54 seconds remaining in the half.
The drive looked to be stopped before it started, but on a fourth-and-five play Cunane, who had setup to punt the ball, realized that the Spartan defense wasn’t paying attention to him and made a quick decision to run the ball. Cunane picked up 12 yards and the first down to keep the drive alive.
“That was something that we had never done or worked on before,” Sorrells said. “We just thought we could get it because they were all engaged and not paying attention to Cunane when he punted. It was something that we saw and so I told him that if no one was looking at him and he thought he could make it to run with it. And, that’s what he did.”
The drive almost stalled again, but Sorrells called for the Indians to run another fake punt on fourth-and-two. This time the fake punt was one that the Indians had been working on all season, a direct snap to Dowdy. Dowdy bulldozed his way to the first down to keep the Indians rolling.
“We got to fourth-and-short and we said, ‘let’s run the fake punt that we’ve been working on,’” Sorrells said. “I mean, that’s the reason we practice these things.”
After a six-yard pickup by Kirk on a quarterback keeper, the Indians pulled out their bag of tricks and ran a play that had the Spartans scrambling to figure out.
The play began when Kirk pitched the ball to Jackson Root, who appeared to be running a reverse. While the GAC defense followed Root, Cunane camped out near the sideline. With Cunane undefended, Root floated a pass that Cunane caught and walked into the end zone from 29 yards out.
“That was something that we talked about on Monday,” Sorrells said. “We decided we wanted to run some trick plays because it’s fun and that’s what we’re here to have.”
The Indians opted to go for the two-point conversion, but Dowdy was stopped just short of the goal line.
The Lumpkin score cut the Spartans’ lead to 35-6.
In the final minute of the half, the Spartans drove 52 yards and tossed a touchdown pass to extend their lead to 42-6 as time expired.
GAC would score one more touchdown with 3:45 left in the third quarter when Hardy found wide receiver Saiku White from 11 yards out for a touchdown pass. The Spartans score upped their lead to 49-6.
The Indians created one more scoring chance for themselves late in the game when they drove 67 yards to the GAC 13-yard-line and attempted a field goal. Unfortunately, Will Ramirez’s kick bounced off the left upright and GAC got the ball back.
The end result was a 49-6 victory for the Spartans, who remain undefeated in Region 7-AAA play since they joined the conference.
The loss dropped the Indians to 1-6 overall and 0-3 in region play.
Despite the final score, Sorrells was pleased with his team’s effort versus the Spartans.
“Don’t get me wrong, we got our tails handed to us tonight,” Sorrells said. “But, we didn’t want to just run the ball, run the ball, run the ball and take time off the clock. We wanted to have some fun and compete.”
The Indians will play their final home game of the 2019 season when they host the North Hall Trojans at the Burial Grounds at Cottrell Field this Friday, Oct. 25. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.