South keeps playoff hopes alive with win over Berkmar

SNELLVILLE -- Using a balanced attack to move the ball with ease and score five first-half touchdowns, South Gwinnett kept its slim Region 8-AAAAA playoff hopes alive with a 49-17 victory over Berkmar Friday night at Richard Snell Community Stadium.

With Josh Boyd running for a 56-yard TD on the game's first play from scrimmage, and quarterback Jordan Ramey throwing a 5-yard TD toss to Bernard Morrison three minutes later, the outcome was never in doubt. South (2-5, 2-3) now faces a must win game against Dacula to keep its hopes alive for a playoff berth.

"We started hot on our first play. Boyd made his start and got it going for us," said South Gwinnett head coach John Small. "Now we need to focus on next week. All of our games are must wins for us to have an outside chance to make the playoffs."

South's offensive dominance spoiled a splendid performance by Berkmar quarterback Deion Perry. Facing blitzes on nearly every pass play, Perry completed 23 of 40 passes for 203 yards and a TD.

Berkmar (1-6, 0-5) employed a short passing game to control the ball, but struck quickly to keep the game close in the first quarter. After falling behind 14-0, Perry connected for 26 yards with Kyle Pattilo and Michael Shaw dashed for a 29-yard TD, closing the gap to 14-7.

But South put the game away with 21 points in the second quarter. After the Berkmar TD, the Comets quickly marched 68 yards, and on the first play of the second quarter, Ramey threw his second TD pass, a 33-yarder to Mark Watts.

Midway through the quarter, a Berkmar punt was partially blocked and traveled only 19 yards to the Berkmar 29. It took only four plays for Boyd to score his second TD, a 2-yard plunge.

After South's defense sacked Perry on Berkmar's next possession, another short punt gave the Comets the ball at the Patriots' 42. Ramey quickly hit L.J. Gainey with a 36-yard strike and Jourdin Shiloh scored the first of his 2 TDs on a 2-yard yard run to give South a 35-14 halftime lead.

Boyd led all rushers with 177 yards on 15 carries. Ramey, who did not play the second half due to an ankle injury, completed 6 of 9 passes for 92 yards and two TDs.

Berkmar's Dorren Miller led all receivers with 11 receptions for 95 yards and a TD. Michael Shaw led Berkmar's rushing attack with 50 yards on eight carries.