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Big plays doom Peachtree Ridge in loss

Staff Photo: John Bohn Peachtree Ridge cornerback Christian Goodlett (2) tackles Walton wide receiver Dakota Richardson (2) during the first half of their Corky Kell Classic game played at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Peachtree Ridge cornerback Christian Goodlett (2) tackles Walton wide receiver Dakota Richardson (2) during the first half of their Corky Kell Classic game played at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Peachtree Ridge runner Diandre Atwater (27) rushes for a gain while Walton defensive back AJ Collins (28) lines up a tackle during the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Peachtree Ridge Alex Gray (21) chases down a lose ball during the first half against Walton during the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Peachtree Ridge runner Ahmaad Harris (7) runs the ball while teammate Joe Horn (4) clears a path. Peachtree Ridge played Walton during the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

ATLANTA -- Big plays were a big part of the finale to the Corky Kell Classic.

Unfortunately for Peachtree Ridge, Walton came up with more of them -- four of 19 yards or more, to be precise.

Three of those big plays went for touchdowns, two of them runs of 39 and 80 yards by Tyren Jones, to lift the Raiders to a 26-14 win in Saturday's closing game at the Georgia Dome.

Those two plays -- plus a 21-yard run in the first quarter -- accounted for 140 of Jones' 200 on the ground for the evening.

Peachtree Ridge had plenty of offense, as well, with Diandre Atwater running for 121 yards and two TDs on 14 carries, while Billy Best completed 21 of 30 passes for 165 yards, nine of which went to Joe Horn for 87 yards.

But the Lions couldn't pull off the big play like Walton could.

Trailing by a touchdown at halftime, Peachtree Ridge did pull even by driving 89 yards in a penalty-filled 13-play march on its second possession of the third quarter.

Atwater finally found the end zone 5:15 after the drive started with a 2-yard run off an option pitch to tie the score 14-14 with 26 second left in the period.

But it took Walton just one snap and 12 seconds to get the lead back.

After a touchback on the kickoff, Jones produced his second big burst of the night -- this time, an 80-yard sprint through the Peachtree Ridge secondary that made the score 20-14 after the extra point was missed.

And more Walton lighting increased the Raiders' lead to two scores early in the fourth quarter.

It looked like the Lions might pin Walton deep in its own territory after Connor Rouleau boomed a 54-yard punt.

But Dakota Richardson fielded the blast at his own 12-yard line and beat the Peachtree Ridge coverage around the left corner and breezed down the left sidline for an 88-yard return for the touchdown that made the score 26-14 with 7:20 to play.

And any hopes the Lions had faded away when Best was stopped inches short on a fourth-down scramble at the Walton 39 with 4:40 to play.

The Lions fell into nearly hole when Walton ate up most of the first quarter on its first possession.

Jones ran for 48 yards on eight carries during a 14-play, 86-yard march that consumed 6:40 of the clock in the opening frame.

But it was quarterback Parker McLeod who finished the drive with a 5-yard scamper on a quarterback draw to put the Raiders up 7-0 with 2:04 left in the quarter.

The Lions answered early in the second quarter by capitalizing on a turnover when Walton muffed a Rouleau punt and Ahmaad Harris recovered on the Raiders' 20.

After a 5-yard penalty for a sideline violation, Peachtree Ridge needed just four plays to go the needed 25 yards, and Atwater's 8-yard run pulled the Lions even at 7-7 with 9:53 left in the first half.

But Walton answered by cashing in on a turnover of its own.

A Best pass bounced off the hands of a Lions receiver and into the hands of Walton's Dedric Sundby, who returned it 16 yards to the Peachtree Ridge 34.

A 5-yard false start penalty made no difference as Jones burst up the middle for 39 yards and the score on the next snap, putting Walton back in front 14-7 with 6:36 left in the half.

It looked like Peachtree Ridge might get another opportunity on another muffed punt return late in the half when Jones bobbled a 56-yard blast by Rouleau and was hit at or near the end zone after picking up the loose ball.

However, game officials ruled the play a touchback, and Walton was able to run out the rest of the half and take its seven-point lead into intermission.