Lions hold off surging Bears

SUWANEE -- On a night where Peachtree Ridge honored all military personnel, which included a Marine Cobra helicopter flyover, it was the Lions who held off Mountain View for a 28-17 homecoming win.

The Lions (4-1, 2-0 Region 7-AAAAA) started the game out sluggishly, but after halftime adjustments, got things going in the second half to pull away for the win.

"It's a good win for us," said Peachtree Ridge head coach Mark Fleetwood. "These guys came in off a big win last week and brought it. Being a new school, they knew they had nothing to lose and it showed."

Through the first two drives, the Bears had the edge as they had 99 yards of offense on two drives, while holding the Lions to minus-10 yards of offense.

On Mountain View's (2-3, 1-1) second drive, it managed to come away with points as Jeffrey Stone booted a 32-yard field goal to give the Bears a 3-0 lead with 3:50 to go in the first quarter.

After the drive, the Bears only managed 72 yards of total offense, while the Lions had 349 yards over the same span.

Peachtree Ridge got things going on its third drive of the game, driving 77 yards on 11 plays. On first-and-goal, quarterback Billy Best found Joe Horn in the flat, and Horn did the rest avoiding multiple defenders on his way to the end zone. Connor Rouleau's extra point gave the Lions a 7-3 lead with 7:37 to go in the second quarter.

The Lions held the Bears on their next drive and got a 27-yard punt return from Ahmaad Harris. On the first play of the drive, Best placed a perfect ball over the right shoulder of Horn, completing a 30-yard pass to his receiver down to the 2-yard line. Diandre Atwater, also named the homecoming king at halftime, took the handoff on the next play into the end zone. Rouleau's extra point gave the Lions a 14-3 lead with 4:03 to go before half.

However, Mountain View's Marvin Elam wouldn't allow the Lions to celebrate for long as he took the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to breathe new life into the Bears. The Lions did, however, come away with a blocked extra point, leaving the score at 14-9.

"We dealt with some adversity," Fleetwood said. "We made some adjustments at halftime and things got going from there."

Fleetwood didn't know how quick things would get going, but his question was answered on the kickoff to open the half when Harris took the ball 97 yards for a touchdown to give the Lions a 20-9 lead.

Later in the third quarter, the Lions forced the Bears to a three-and-out. On the fourth-down punt, the ball sailed over the punter's head, resulting in a safety for the Lions and a 22-9 lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Lions again had the ball rolling, but injuries to Best combined with an injury to Atwater that kept him out of the entire second half, forced Bryson Sellers to step in at quarterback and a duo of running backs to carry the load for Atwater.

And, they didn't disappoint as the Lions took four plays to score when Raham Dixon hit paydirt from 14 yards out to give Peachtree Ridge a 28-9 lead. Dixon finished the game with a team-high 98 yards rushing.

"I'm proud of those guys stepping in," Fleetwood said. "They didn't miss a beat."

Mountain View looked to get itself back into the game going 65 yards in 12 plays with quarterback Chris Bartlett taking it in from the 1-yard line. Bartlett completed a pass to Tim Hill for the two-point conversion, bring the Bears to within 28-17.

However, it would end there as Peachtree Ridge recovered the onsides kick and milked the clock.

Best finished the game 13-for-19 for 132 yards, while Horn had four receptions for 61 yards. Walden Davis also had 61 yards on the ground.

For Mountain View, Eddie West finished with 110 yards rushing, while Elam had 47 yards on the ground.