South Gwinnett's Arlando Griffin (77) brings down Shiloh's Brandon Wise (4) during Friday's game.
SNELLVILLE -- For the first time in years, Shiloh has a game breaker -- and his name is Donald Clark.
Down 13-0 just before halftime, and trailing 19-7 in the third period, Clark made three plays that changed the game's outcome and Shiloh shocked host South Gwinnett 28-19 Friday at Richard Snell Community Stadium. Clark's big plays also provided Shiloh head coach Brian Montgomery his first win at the school in its first Region 8-AAAAA game this season.
South Gwinnett (0-3, 0-1) controlled the game during most of the first half with quarterback Mason Hart connecting on 11 of 15 passes. The Comets scored easily on their first possession to take a quick 7-0 lead. Starting at its own 48, the Comets needed only six plays before Hart hit L.J. Gainey with a 21-yard TD strike.
South jumped out to a 13-0 lead on a 66-yard, seven-play drive. Hart hit Colton Nash for 28 yards to the Shiloh 9. After a holding penalty pushed the ball back to the Generals' 19, Isadore Davis scampered to the 1 before Spencer Williams scored on the next play.
After gaining only two first downs on its first four possessions, Shiloh (1-2, 1-0) stunned the Comets on their final possession of the first half to cut the lead to 13-7. Starting at their own 35 with less than one minute to play, the Generals moved to the South Gwinnett 41. With only seven seconds left, and South protecting the end zone, Clark took a swing pass out of the backfield, cut across the field and outran the defense for a TD.
It was the first of three game-changing plays that turned the tide in Shiloh's favor.
The next one occurred late in the third period. Down by 12 points, Clark fielded a South Gwinnett punt at his own 47 and returned it to the Comets' 19. Two plays later, Generals' quarterback Devante James hit Stephen Weatherly with an 18-yard TD pass and Shiloh, somehow, only trailed 19-14.
After forcing South Gwinnett to punt on its next possession, James engineering the go-ahead drive. Starting at the Shiloh 38, a 15-yard face mask call against South Gwinnett moved the ball to the Comets' 47. After two runs netted no gain, two James' passes of 16 and 25 yards moved the ball to the South Gwinnett 5. Two plays later, James scored on a quarterback sneak and Shiloh had its first lead, 21-19.
On its next play from scrimmage, South attempted a double reverse, but fumbled, and the ball was recovered by Shiloh's Phillip Trocheck at the Comets' 13. After a holding call pushed the Generals back to the 17, Clark made his third big play a 17-yard reverse for a TD.
Clark's performance spoiled a splendid passing performance by South Gwinnett's Hart, who completed 24 of 38 passes for 236 yards, though he threw two fourth quarter interceptions. L.J. Gainey led all receivers with 122 yards on 12 catches and 1 TD.
James finished with 6 of 17 completions for 106 yards and two TDs.