Photo: Craig Cappy Apalachee's Monterian Smith (14) fights for yardage while Winder-Barrow's Levi Worley (12) and Braydn Randall (8) try to take him down during Friday's game. Apalachee's Eric Tanner (30) blocks for his teammate.
WINDER -- Bragging rights in the "Battle of Barrow" belong to Apalachee for another year. Led by the precision passing and quick feet of senior quarterback Clint Ashe, the Wildcats blew open a close game midway through the first half and sailed to a 42-20 victory over rival Winder-Barrow Friday night at W. Clair Harris Stadium.
"Ashe had a great night," said Apalachee head coach Shane Davis, "and he had a great week of practice. Coming into the game we felt like there were some things we could do to put him in a position to be successful. And when he had the opportunity tonight, he took advantage of it."
Leading 14-7 early in the second quarter, the Wildcats exploded for two touchdowns in the span of a minute. After a 25-yard TD pass from Ashe to Jermaine Smith, Apalachee (5-5, 4-4 Region 8-AAAAA) recovered an onside kick to gain possession at the Bulldogs' 47-yard line.
"It was really just a squib kick," said Davis. "We knew coming into the game we didn't want to kick the ball to 3 (Chad Platt) or 9 (Chandon Sullivan). We were just trying to squib it past the first line and from there whatever happens, happens."
Three plays later, Zay Henry scampered 24 yards for a TD and 28-7 Apalachee lead.
"It was a huge play," said Winder-Barrow head coach David Wagner. "They scored and we answered. Then they did some things that took the wind out of our sails."
Ashe extended the lead on a 49-yard run on a QB sneak late in the quarter, and the Wildcats enjoyed a comfortable 35-7 cushion at half.
"I think we had four possessions in the first half," said Wagner, "and that's not a lot of opportunities."
One of those possessions, Bulldoggs running back Chad Platt produced the biggest play of the game. Two plays after a Henry TD run gave Apalachee a 7-0 lead, Platt raced 68 yards down the sideline to knot the game. In his final game as a Bulldogg, Platt rushed for 129 yards on 16 carries and 1 TD.
Ashe ended his Apalachee career going 7-for-8 passing for 122 yards and a TD. He also rushed for 51 yards and a TD. Henry added 71 yards on 6 carries and two TDs to lead the Wildcats.