Gwinnett Football League crowns its winners

Photo: David McGregor  Buford's Dillon Lancaster (7) chases after Dacula's Cameron Hankins during the 8th Grade GFL Finals on Saturday in Dacula.

Photo: David McGregor Buford's Dillon Lancaster (7) chases after Dacula's Cameron Hankins during the 8th Grade GFL Finals on Saturday in Dacula.


Photo: David McGregor South Gwinnett defenders, including Angelo Dispigna (22) and Tyler Roberts stop Lanier's Dante Black (3) for a loss during the 11-year-old Gwinnett Football League championships on Saturday night in Dacula.


Photo: David McGregor Dacula's Ty Harris tries to run through the tackle attempt of Peachtree Ridge's Davis Mills during the 12 year old GFL finals on Saturday night in Dacula.

The greatest streak in Gwinnett Football League history finally came to an end over the weekend.

Buford NL North upset fellow unbeaten Dacula NL South in the eighth grade Division I championship game Saturday night in Dacula, ending the Falcons' phenomenal 82-game winning streak. The current group of Falcons had won their age division the past seven seasons, an all-time GFL best that surpassed a mark set by youth teams that included future Georgia standouts David Greene and Davey Pollack when they were kids.

Buford used a late fourth-quarter drive to win the eighth grade title, pulling out a 15-14 victory. Running back Xavier Gantt rushed for 64 yards and scored both of the Wolves' touchdowns, including the game-winner on a 25-yard scamper with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter. His 9-yard scoring run in the first quarter had put Buford up 8-0.

Dylan Singleton led the Dacula attack, rushing for one TD and throwing for another. He rushed for 39 yards and passed for 53 against a Buford defense that featured fellow Eastbay Youth All-American Benjamin Frazier, a 6-foot-1, 305-pound defensive tackle.

About 15,000 fans attended the one-day showcase hosted at Dacula High School.

"It's the biggest crowd we've ever had," GFL president Erik Richards said. "The weather was great and that probably contributed to it, but it was a packed house. A great atmosphere."

Here's a look at the other GFL championship games from Saturday:

Eighth Grade, Division II: Mill Creek 6, Dacula 0 (OT)

Defense ruled in the other eighth-grade championship, with Mill Creek AL North and Dacula NL North going head-to-head for a scoreless for four quarters before heading to overtime.

Mill Creek, which went the entire season without allowing a point, kept Dacula from scoring on its first OT possession and set up its own offense for an opportunity to win.

12-year-old: Peachtree Ridge 12, Dacula 6 (OT)

The 12-year old division also came down to a battle in overtime, with Peachtree Ridge NL South defeating Dacula NL East 12-6.

Dacula running back Ty Harris, who ran for a game-high 102 yards, tied the game in the third quarter with an 85-yard touchdown run.

Neither team scored in the fourth quarter and Dacula was unable to score on its two overtime possessions.

Peachtree Ridge failed to score on its first overtime possession, but in the second OT running back Connor Heyward, who ran for 88 yards, scored the winning touchdown from two yards out.

11-year-old: South Gwinnett 20, Lanier 0

South Gwinnett AL South took control on both sides of the ball and shut out Lanier NL South 20-0 in the 11-year-old final.

D. Hill rushed for a game-high 95 yards and two touchdowns and Tyler Roberts also scored on a 45-yard run for the Comets (11-1).

South led just 7-0 at halftime before pulling away.

The Comets held Lanier to 70 total yards on offense.

10-year-old: Dacula 12, Lawrenceville 6

Dacula AL South (12-0) defeated Lawrenceville AL North (10-2) in the 10-year-old championship game by a score of 12-6.

Dacula took a 12-0 halftime lead on Jack Jackson's 60-yard TD run and his 1-yard scoring plunge later in the half on fourth-and-goal that capped a nine-play drive.

Lawrenceville, which got a spark from a Jalyn Phillips interception, got back in the game after a long kickoff return from Brendon Woods to the Dacula 22-yard line. Joseph Garcia's 22-yard TD run cut the gap to 12-6, but the Black Knights couldn't get any closer.

9-year-old: Peachtree Ridge 19, Mill Creek 6

Peachtree Ridge NL North (12-0) beat Mill Creek NL East for the second time this season, winning the GFL 9-year-old title with a 19-6 victory.

Jeremiah Cook scored on a 5-yard run in the first quarter for an early Lions lead, but Mill Creek (10-2) answered right back when Ryan Birch scored on an 8-yard run later in the quarter.

The Lions edged in front with 5:11 left in the half when Miles Friday scored on a 1-yard plunge and got a big defensive stop later in the quarter when Trey Williams recovered a Hawk fumble.

Peachtree Ridge sealed the victory with a touchdown late in the fourth quarter by Julien Lewis, who also recovered a fumble earlier in the game to stop a Mill Creek drive at the Lions' 5-yard line.

8-year-old: Archer 13, Grayson 7

Archer AL South's team gave the young program its first-ever GFL title with a 13-7 victory over Grayson AL East, avenging the Tigers' only loss of the season.

The Rams took an early lead on Tre Freeman's 20-yard TD run and Ian Shefflin's extra point in the first quarter, but Archer fought back when Gabe Erwin scored on a 40-yard run on the final play of the first half.

Still down 7-6 in the second half, Archer got a 55-yard scoring run from Ervin with 6:55 left in the fourth quarter that was the game-winner. Tommy Beuglas' extra point provided the final margin.

7-year-old: Brookwood 19, Dacula 7

Brookwood AL South (11-1) broke open a close game with Dacula NL East (10-2) in the second half, winning 19-7 for the 7-year-old title.

The Broncos' Alexander Diggs raced 37 yards for the game's first TD and Brant Baughcum converted the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

Dacula knotted up the game early in the second quarter when Roberto Bryant scored from 13 yards out and Markus Clark converted the extra point.

The momentum swung on the first possession of the second half when Diggs scored on a 43-yard counter play. The Broncos got the ball right back when Christian Knowles recovered the onside kick, setting up a 33-yard TD run from Diggs.

6-year-old: Peachtree Ridge 37, Dacula 21

The game's first title matchup was high scoring, with Peachtree Ridge NL South overpowering Dacula NL North 37-21.

Playing on an 80-yard field, Peachtree Ridge's Caleb Downs was a one-boy wrecking crew. The Lions running back rushed for 330 yards on just 12 carries.

Dacula (11-1) scored first when Mason Kidd swept around the left end from 37 yards out and added his own extra point. The top-seeded Lions (12-0) needed only 41 seconds to answer as Downs took his first touch 45 yards for the score.

Dacula added to its lead when Matthew Haber scored on a 23-yard run and Kidd again converted the extra point. But Downs answered right back for Peachtree Ridge, this time scoring on a 32-yard run late in the first quarter.

It was followed by a breathtaking run from Downs, who swept left, reversed his field five yards deep into his own end zone and then ran 79 yards down the right sideline for the touchdown. Jameel Peters converted the extra point, giving the Lions a 19-14 lead. Downs added a 35-yard TD run just before half for a 25-14 edge.

Downs scored on 48- and 33-yard runs in the second half and Dacula got a fourth-quarter TD from Kidd on an 8-yard run.