Mill Creek 24, South Forsyth 21

HOSCHTON -- Mill Creek's season ended with a thrilling finish, as John Russ' fourth-down run from a yard out gave the Hawks a 24-21 victory over South Forsyth on Friday night.

Russ' touchdown gave Mill Creek a one-point lead with 38 seconds left. He then connected with Brandon Hayman in the corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion as the Hawks evened their record at 5-5 against a tough Region 7-AAAAA schedule.

Mill Creek head coach Shannon Jarvis acknowledged the sluggish first half his team had, especially on offense as it went to the break down 14-0.

"I was wondering what team we had out there the first half, just like everybody else in the stands was," Jarvis said. "We had some seniors and some kids stand up and address it as a team at halftime and that's what I'm proud of."

Russ was only 2 of 10 passing in the first half for 10 yards but came back and ended the night connecting on 7 of 20 for 66 yards. More importantly he had two rushing TDs and threw for a 14-yard score to Hayman, which capped off a very important nine-play, 59-yard drive to open the second half.

The Hawks forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession and got the ball back at their own 27. They marched 73 yards on 11 plays and Russ went untouched up the middle from 11 yards out. The PAT was blocked so South Forsyth (1-9, 1-7) still held on to a 14-13 advantage.

The War Eagles extended their lead with 9:23 to play when Josh Hand hooked up with Sam McKelvey for a 18-yard TD pass.

The score was 21-16 when Hayman gave the Hawks great field position, returning the kickoff to the 50-yard line. After 13 plays and two fourth-down conversions, the Hawks had the lead and a last desperate attempt by South Forsyth failed, giving the Mill Creek seniors one final victory.

"Getting a win like this can catapult you into the off season," Jarvis said.