SNELLVILLE - With four touchdown passes from quarterback Michael Polascik and a 95-yard TD kickoff return by Johnathan Krause, South Gwinnett kept its slim Region 8-AAAAA playoff hopes alive with a 42-7 thrashing of Shiloh Friday night at Richard Snell Community Stadium in Snellville.
South Gwinnett (3-5, 3-3) plays Brookwood next Friday and needs to win its final two games for a shot to return to the playoffs.
The Comets dominated Friday's game from the outset, scoring TDs on their first three possessions and stopping Shiloh's powerful running game.
Polascik riddled the Shiloh defense in the first half, completing 9 of 14 passes for 219 yards and scoring strikes of 44, 37 and 19 yards. Ahead 21-7 at the half, Krause put the game out of reach by returning the second-half kickoff for a TD.
"Our kids have played hard all year," said South head coach John Small. "We wanted to play a game where, instead of playing 'not to lose', we played to win, and we did that tonight."
Small also said the South defense wanted to stop Eugene Glenn, Shiloh's speedy running back, and it accomplished that goal. Glenn had 44 yards on 11 carries and scored Shiloh's only TD. But other than returning the game's opening kickoff to the South 45, he was not a factor in the game.
Shiloh (4-5, 2-5) completed only one pass all night and had three intercepted, including a pass from starting quarterback Mark Wright on the Generals' first play from scrimmage. South defensive back Cortez Johnson picked off Wright's initial throw, and South started at its own 7.
South struck quickly, driving 93 yards for the game's first TD and scoring on a 44-yard strike from lefty Polasick to receiver Michael Bradford.
Shiloh wanted to establish its power running game early and tested South's defense on its next possession, but came up empty. On fourth-and-3 on their own 47, the Generals' Sam Muse was stopped short of a first down, giving South the ball on the Shiloh 49. Five plays later, Polascik threw his second TD pass, a 37-yarder to Aaron Jividen.
Down 14-0, Shiloh got a much-needed turnover when Krause fumbled a Cooper Davis punt on the South 40 on the first play of the second quarter. Running seven consecutive running plays, the Generals sliced the lead to 14-7 after Glenn scored on a 14-yard run.
But South re-established control by driving 67 yards for a TD on its next possession. A 33-yard Polascik pass to Bradford moved the ball to the Shiloh 19, and after two incomplete passes, Polascik hit Jividen on a bubble screen for the second of Jividen's three TD receptions.
South finished off the Generals quickly in the third quarter. After Krause's 95-yard TD return of the opening kickoff, Cortez Johnson got his second interception by picking off Shiloh sophomore quarterback Derrrick Butts on the Generals' first second-half possession. Four plays later, Polascik hit Krause on a screen pass, and the junior receiver broke several tackles en route to the end zone.
Butts completed the only Shiloh pass of the game on its next possession, a 5-yarder to Brandon Thomas, but the Generals still went three and out and were forced to punt. South drove 41 yards for the game's final score, a 5-yard looping pass to Jividen from backup quarterback, brother Kerry Jividen.
Polascik completed 12 of 21 passes for 264 yards and 4 TDs and Jividen caught three passes for 61 yards and three TDs.
South Gwinnett 42, Shiloh 7
South Gwinnett: Michael Bradford 44 pass from Michael Polascik (Griffin Thomas kick) 8:22
South Gwinnett: Aaron Jividen 37 pass from Polascik (Thomas kick) 1:57
Shiloh: Eugene Glenn 14 run (Cooper Davis kick) 8:23
South Gwinnett: Jividen 19 pass from Polascik (Thomas kick) 6:36
South Gwinnett: Johnathan Krause 95 kickoff return (Thomas kick) 11:44
South Gwinnett: Krause 29 pass from Polascik (Thomas kick) 8:43
South Gwinnett: Jividen 5 pass from Kerry Jividen (Thomas kick) 8:24