Staff Photo: John Bohn Greater Atlanta Christian Kalif Raymond (7) outruns Westminster defensive back Rivers Patterson (81) o his way to scoring his first of two touchdowns during the first half. GAC and Westminster played in a Great American Classic football game at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.
Staff Photo: John Bohn Greater Atlanta Christian Kalif Raymond (7) runs for his second touchdown of the first half against Westminster in a Great American Classic football game played at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.
Staff Photo: John Bohn Greater Atlanta Christian linebacker Chris Williams (8) tackles Westminster tight end Grey Notermann (84) during the first quarter of a Great American Classic football game played at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.
Staff Photo: John Bohn Greater Atlanta Christian wide receiver Clay Metzger (16) catches a pass while covered closely by Westminster defensive back Shelton collier during the first quarter of a Great American Classic football game played at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.
Staff Photo: John Bohn Greater Atlanta Christian defensive back Kalif Raymond (7) tackles Westminster ide receiver Cameron Seward (8) during the first quarter of a Great American Classic football game played at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.
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ATLANTA -- On a day where dreams came true, Greater Atlanta Christian went one step further, beating rival Westminster 49-10 in the Great American Football Classic at the Georgia Dome.
The Spartans (4-0) used a balanced attack, amassing 413 total yards en route to the win.
"This was a fun game for our kids, especially to come here to the Dome and win," said GAC head coach Tim Cokely. "Our kids are invested in this program and it shows on the field."
Things started well for GAC as it wasted no time getting on the board when quarterback Delano Spencer found Kalif Raymond in space, who took it 77 yards for the touchdown 1:29 into the game.
Westminster looked to have things going on its first drive, but came away with no points when Harrison Butker's 59-yard field goal attempt fell just short.
Late in the first quarter, the Spartans struck again as Lavondre Nelson found a hole in the Westminster defense, taking the ball 67 yards for the touchdown. Connor Cox's extra point gave the Spartans a 14-0 lead with 24 seconds to go in the first quarter.
The scoring didn't stop there, either, for GAC. After a fumbled punt by the Wildcats put GAC on the 34-yard line, Spencer guided the Spartans to a score in four plays when he found Andrew Lewis for a 15-yard score.
On the Spartans' next drive, it was more of the same with Raymond catching his second touchdown of the game, this one from 37 yards out. Spencer finished the game 8-for-11 for 233 yards and five touchdowns, while Raymond hauled in three passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
"The line blocked great all game," Spencer said. "They're the reason why I was able to throw for five touchdowns."
Westminster was able to put three points on the board with 2:04 to go before half when Butker split the uprights from 41 yards, trimming GAC's lead to 28-3 at halftime.
In the second half, the Wildcats grabbed the quick momentum, taking three plays to score when quarterback Will Ruggiano hit Michael Russell for a 53-yard scoring strike.
However, that would be all for Westminster as GAC regained its dominance from there.
After the offense turned the ball over on the Spartans' next possession, the defense held firm and came up with a blocked punt as Tony Jones Jr. got a piece of the ball to put the Spartans back in business.
"It all starts with our defense," Spencer said. "They picked us up and gave us good field position on many drives."
On the next play Clay Metzger found a seam and Spencer didn't miss, connecting for a 48-yard score.
From there, GAC added another touchdown pass from Spencer to Metzger and a 28-yard scoring run by Kyle Scales, for the game's final points.
Nelson led the rushing attack for GAC with 88 yards on the ground, while Scales finished with 57 yards.
"We got a lot of kids the ball," Cokely said. "I think it's important, especially on a stage like this."