Mill Creek 52, Chattahoochee 21

HOSCHTON - What looked like it was going to be a defensive battle with neither team scoring in the first quarter turned into an offensive outburst for Mill Creek.

The Hawks rolled offensively Friday night in a 52-21 win over Chattahoochee in a Region 7-AAAAA matchup of two teams with identical records coming into the game.

"I really am proud of our kids. We played a little faster tonight and with a little more confidence," Mill Creek head coach Shannon Jarvis said. "We had a good week of practice and they were looking forward to coming out to play and it showed in how they played."

Brandon Hayman caught a 9-yard pass from John Russ to open the scoring in the second quarter. It was his first of two TD catches. The other was an 80-yard connection in the fourth quarter which was the beginning of a stretch where the Hawks (3-4, 2-3) scored 21 points in 41 seconds to put the game out of reach.

Chattahoochee (2-5, 1-4) made the game close twice in the second half. The first came after a Russ fumble on Mill Creek's first possession of the second half. The Cougars went 25 yards in four plays and made the score 17-13 with 8:41 to play in the third quarter. They pulled within 10 with 11:16 to play in the game when Matt Kirstein caught a 45-yard pass from Timmy Byerly making the score 31-21.

Hayman's long TD made it 38-21 and then on the first play of the Cougars' next possession Ricky Fawbush picked off a Byerly pass and returned it 65 yards for the score. On the ensuing kickoff Chattahoochee fumbled and the Hawks took over on the Cougars' 12. Keyshawn Bussey took it in from there and Mill Creek had the game in hand.

"Before the game I challenged them and said we've got to get a defensive score," Jarvis said. "We've got to get a turnover for a touchdown and they did."

Russ ended the night with 62 yards rushing and a score on 11 carries. He also passed for two TDs going 10 of 16 for 183 yards. Hayman had six catches for 120 yards and the two scores.