NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian's Taylor Bruner returned the opening kickoff 66 yards and Stephen Atwater scored three plays later to set the tone for a 62-0 blowout of Cross Keys on a cool and crisp Friday night at Spartans Stadium.
The lopsided win on GAC's Senior Night was a needed tonic for the Spartans coming off a tough loss to Lovett the week before.
"We did what we needed to do tonight," GAC coach Ken Robinson said. "We were expected to win and did so to stay in position to make the playoffs. Of course, we have a huge challenge next week to do so."
GAC scored on its next possession when senior quarterback Colton Chapple heaved a bomb that was pulled down by Julian Horton, who raced the rest of the 69 yards for a touchdown. Senior placekicker Robert Boccolucci added his second of six extra point kicks to give the Spartans a 14-0 lead with 2:50 left in the first quarter.
Cross Keys' Brandon Hamilton tried to get his team back into the game but instead saw his next two passes picked off and returned for touchdowns by GAC. The first interception return occurred when Spartans linebacker Matt Cape dropped deep in coverage and found a treat this Halloween night and zipped 20 yards for score with 1:40 left in the first period. Then, after the kickoff resulted in a touchback, Hamilton threw deep and GAC's Bruner intercepted at his own 48-yard line and raced 52 yards untouched down the sidelines for six points. The score was a second touchdown in the span of 17 seconds and the first quarter ended with GAC up 28-0.
In the second quarter as GAC took a 42-0 halftime lead. The Spartans scored their fifth touchdown of the game when Justin White darted five yards with 6:28 left before intermission. The final score of the first half was 4-yard TD run by Cape, who played both ways much of the evening.
Things slowed a bit in the second half as GAC coach Robinson played a lot of his reserves. The Spartans stretched their lead to 48-0 when freshman scatback Lavondre Nelson scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 5-yard run with 6:36 left in the third quarter. The score went to 55-0 later in the period when another freshman, DaSean Daniels, broke loose for a 41-yard run to the end zone.
GAC's final touchdown on the game came with just over nine minutes remaining when Nelson scored again on an 11-yard burst around right end.
Cross Keys, winless this season, got a good game from senior wide receiver Richard Feacher, who touched the ball exactly 20 times to amass 234 total yards. His touches included eight pass receptions, five rushes, six kickoff returns and one punt return. Hamilton finished the night with 10 completions for 134 yards but suffered five interceptions.
Picking off passes for GAC were Bruner with two, Cape, Nelson and Bo Hebert.
The win ups GAC's record to 4-5 for the season and 4-2 in region play. The Spartans finish the regular season at Buford next week.