North Gwinnett running back Donnie Miles (1) goes to the air for a gain of yardage over East St. Louis defensive back Demitri Jones (5) during the first quarter of a National GridIron Football Classic game played at N. Gwinnett High School on Saturday.
SUWANEE -- After letting a late lead slip away in a season-opening loss last week, North Gwinnett left nothing to chance in the finale to the National High School Gridiron Challenge.
The Bulldogs rolled up 367 yards in total offense, including 12 of 17 passing for 300 yards and three touchdowns by Scotty Hosch, to cruise to a 41-0 victory Saturday at Tom Robinson Stadium.
Chad Scott also had a huge game with three receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown, plus 114 return yards, including a 67-yard punt return for a score as the Bulldogs rolled to 20 points in the second quarter to put the game away.
North was very opportunistic in a first half that could have been dramatically different.
East St. Louis actually outgained the Bulldogs 225-206 in total offense in the opening 24 minutes, but much of that was overridden by 12 penalties against the Flyers for 100 yards.
A key holding call negated what would've been a third-down conversion scramble from quarterback Lamontiez Ivy, and forced East St. Louis into a punt after Justin Thomas sacked Ivy on the next play.
Another drive deep into North territory ended scoreless when North's defense stiffened and held Donald Caradine on the 1-yard line after a 14-yard completion from Ivy on fourth and goal from the 15.
Both those empty possessions were answered by quick strikes from the Bulldogs.
The first was a four-play, 54-yard drive that ended with Donnie Miles' 9-yard scoring run to put North in front 7-0 with 7:48 left in the first half.
The second saw the Bulldogs go 99 yards in just three plays, with Hosch hitting Scott in stride for an 82-yard gain before being caught by Demus Jones at the 16, setting up another strike from Hosch to Scott for the 16-yard touchdown, making the score 14-0 just six seconds into the second quarter.
Scott ripped off another big play when he returned a punt 67 yards for a score to extend the North lead to 20-0 with 8:48 left in the half.
Hosch then capped an eight-play, 65-yard march with a 24-yard scoring strike to Chris Bolden with 3:55 left .
That score helped the Bulldogs end a half in which they ran just 15 offensive plays to East St. Louis' 35 and possessed the ball roughly half as long by taking a 27-0 lead into intermission.
North picked up right where they left off in the second half, with a 28-yard punt return by Scott and a 15-yard personal foul penalty on East St. Louis setting up the Bulldogs at the Flyers' 20.
Five plays later, Hosch bootlegged to his right on third and goal and hit Joe Jones with a swing pass for a 6-yard touchdown, pushing the North lead to 34-0 with 6:32 left in the third quarter.
Jeremy Nicholson had a solid game for the East St. Louis, running for 123 on 24 carries -- 111 of which came in the first half -- while Ivy completed 11 of 27 passes for 99 yards, but the Flyers were flagged 14 on the evening for 122 yards.