SUWANEE - Brad Roby has made most of the highlight reel plays for Peachtree Ridge this season. Nick Lombardo and Brandon Stanley gave the Vanderbilt commitment the night off on Friday
Lombardo rushed for 105 yards and Stanley scored two touchdowns to help the No. 9 Lions to a 21-7 win over unbeaten Collins Hill.
"I feel like as a team we have a lot of different threats," Lombardo said. "Our stats are so spread out and we can hurt you in a lot of different ways."
Collins Hill (6-1, 4-1 in region), Peachtree Ridge (6-1, 4-0) and North Gwinnett were the only unbeatens in Region 7-AAAAA going into Friday's game. With the Eagles' loss and North's win over Northview it sets up a potential Region 7 title matchup again with the Lions and Bulldogs at the end of the season.
It's the second straight season Collins Hill started 6-0 and got its first loss against Peachtree Ridge. The Eagles have relied on running back Charles Perkins, the county's leading rusher, for most of the season.
The Lions' defense shut down the Georgia Tech commitment, holding him to his lowest rushing output of the season with 45 yards. He also had two catches for 52 yards.
"I just felt like our defense came out and played really hard tonight against a good, strong, tough running back in Perkins," Peachtree Ridge head coach Bill Ballard said. "He's a heck of a player. I felt like our guys stepped up to a challenge tonight that we had to try and hold him from running a big play. He really didn't get the big play, so that was big for our defense."
Linebacker Tanner Botts led the defensive effort with seven tackles.
The Lions had three sacks with Twan Sandridge leading the way with 11/2. Angelo Whatley had one sack and Eric Mitchell had half a sack to go with five tackles. Sterling Jones added an interception.
Roby has made his presence felt this season on offense, defense and special teams. The senior had five touchdowns in the last two games and even though he didn't score Friday he still met his quota of big plays.
Roby had a 60-yard punt return to set up one of Stanley's touchdowns. He also had two tackles on defense and a five-yard run on offense.
"Their defense had a good plan on containing Roby," Ballard said. "That allowed us to get the ball on the edge and pitch it some."
For the most part it was Lombardo and Stanley that did the damage on offense for the Lions. Lombardo took an option keeper 52 yards and five plays later Stanley (30 yards on 11 carries) walked in the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
"He can run the ball, there's no question," Ballard said of Lombardo. "He made good decisions early in the ball game."
Chris Caspari led Collins Hill's defense with 10 tackles, four for loss. Travis Parker had 13 tackles, Michael Gederon had eight and Nick Diemer added seven.
Mitchell and Sandridge's sack of Taylor Heinicke forced Collins Hill to punt. Roby took Caspari's punt 60 yards to the two-yard line. After a penalty, Stanley scored his second TD of the quarter on a seven-yard run to put the Lions ahead 14-0.
"They kind of put us on our heels early," Collins Hill head coach Billy Wells said. "In a big game there are usually three or four plays that set the tone and when you make three or four mistakes on top of that, it puts you in a bad position."
Collins Hill put together its only scoring drive of the game with a 20-yard pass to Heinicke to Perkins. Perkins scored on a four-yard run to cut the deficit to 14-7 before the half. Heinicke was 10 of 20 for 141 yards with an interception.
It was the first points the Eagles offense had scored on the Lions defense in three years after being shutout the last two seasons 21-0.
Lombardo connected with Stanley for a 57-yard pass to the 11. The senior QB finished off the three-play drive with a five-yard score to put the Lions ahead 21-7 with 1:47 left in the third quarter.
Lombardo was only 3 of 6 passing for 58 yards, but all those receptions went to Stanley. Peachtree Ridge had 233 yards of total offense to Collins Hill's 173.
"We've got a lot of work to do offensively," Ballard said. "I feel like we're getting better offensively and it's complicated for us to do, but we've got to get a lot better."