Seventh grade Indians advance to championship

  • LCMS standout Gerald Walker returns an interception for a touchdown in the 7th grade team’s blowout win over Gilmer County in the Mountain League semifinals.
    LCMS standout Gerald Walker returns an interception for a touchdown in the 7th grade team’s blowout win over Gilmer County in the Mountain League semifinals.

The LCMS seventh grade football team remained undefeated on the season and punched its ticket to the Mountain League Championship game when the Indians handed the Gilmer County Bobcats a 38-8 loss in the Mountain League semifinals at LCMS stadium on Thursday, Oct. 10.
The Indians got off to a shaky start when they fumbled the ball on a bobbled snap near midfield on the opening drive of the game, but Lumpkin’s defense held strong to force the Bobcats into a three-and-out.
On their second drive of the game, the Indians received strong running from LCMS running back Gerald Walker. Walker handled the rock for Lumpkin on its first three plays of the drive, picking up 39 yards on the ground. On the fourth play of the drive, Indians’ quarterback Cal Faulkner connected with LCMS wide receiver AJ Scott for a 25-yard touchdown pass that put the Indians up 6-0 with 4:10 left in the first quarter. Faulkner then ran in the two-point conversion to extend the Indians’ lead to 8-0.  
Gilmer’s second possession of the game started with a sack by LCMS’s Walker Scott and never gained any traction. The Bobcats were once again forced to punt the ball.
The Indians only needed two plays on their ensuing drive to extend their lead to 16-0. Starting at their own 40-yard-line, the Indians got a nice 15-yard run from Faulkner to get inside Gilmer territory. On the next play, Walker busted through the Gilmer defense for a 45-yard touchdown run. Walker’s touchdown gave Lumpkin a 14-0 advantage. Faulkner found wide receiver Trent Mobley open on the two-point attempt to put the Indians ahead 16-0 with 1:33 left in the first quarter.
The Lumpkin defense continued to play lights out against the Bobcats’ offensive attack. After putting Gilmer in a third-and-21 situation, Faulkner intercepted a pass and returned it 23 yards to put the ball back in Lumpkin’s hands.
The Indians quickly turned the turnover into points when Faulkner scored a 17-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper. Faulkner’s score combined with a successful pass to Mobley on the two-point try upped the Indians lead to 24-0 with 6:57 left in the first half.
The Indians would go on to score twice more in the half, including a blocked punt run back for a touchdown by AJ Scott and a pick-six by Walker, to hold a 38-0advantage going into the halftime break.
With Faulkner and Walker sitting out the second half in order to keep them eligible for the eighth grade semifinal game, the Indians’ offense didn’t move the ball quite as well in the second half as they did in the first half. However, the Indians’ defense continued to play strong. Lumpkin did, however, allow the Bobcats to score late in the game when they scored a five-yard rushing touchdown and completed a pass on the two-point conversion with 1:09 left in the game.
The end result was a 38-8 victory for the Indians, advancing them to the Mountain League Championship game.
LCMS head football coach Darren Glenn was impressed with his team’s play on both sides of the ball in the contest and credited his players’ hard work before and throughout the season for allowing them to pull out the lopsided victory.
“We played great on both sides of the ball,” said Glenn. “The guys were ready to play and you could see it in their face. I think the hard work all summer led us to that moment.”
Glenn praised the efforts of Faulkner, Walker and AJ Scott in the win.
“They are all really good players with bright futures here at Lumpkin County,” Glenn said. “Cal [Faulknner] is a very smart and athletic quarterback, AJ [Scott] and Gerald [Walker] are very tough running backs.”
Glenn hopes to see the same kind of effort he saw in the win over Gilmer when the Indians compete for the league championship.
“We have to continue the solid play and our line of scrimmage has to help our backs,” Glenn said. “We have to stay on our blocks a little longer and get into their second level.”
In addition to advancing the Indians to the championship game, the win allowed Lumpkin to remain undefeated to this point. It is an accomplishment that had Glenn beaming with pride.
“Undefeated is tough to accomplish in any league,” Glenn said. “This group is special. They have been for a long time and they understand what it takes to win. But it also helps to be extremely talented.”
The LCMS seventh grade football team will now prepare to play for a championship title when they travel to Pickens County Middle School to take on the Fannin County Rebels in the Mountain League Championship game tomorrow, Oct. 17. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.