Dacula’s Cameron Jones (20) heads down the sideline with Lawrenceville’s Makhi Cunningham (32) close behind, during the 6-year-old division of the Gwinnett Football League championship games at South Gwinnett High School on Saturday. To see photos from all the games, go to http://spotted.gwinnettdailypost.com and see the Community section on Nov. 17. (Photo: Chris Roughgarden)
To see additional photos from the Gwinnett Football League championship games, view the galleries HERE.
SNELLVILLE — The Gwinnett Football League's postseason culminated in Saturday's title games at South Gwinnett High School and nine age-group championships were won, ranging from 6-year-olds up to eighth-graders.
The following is a game-by-game recap of the championship games:
Dacula National North 33, Lawrenceville American South 6
SNELLVILLE —Dacula’s Devin Williams rushed for three touchdowns Saturday, leading Dacula National North past Lawrenceville American South 33-6 in the 6-year-old championship game, the opener of the annual Gwinnett Football League finals.
Williams scores included a 54-yard TD run on the age group’s 80-yard field that saw him run by and through Lawrenceville defenders.
Cameron Jones scored the first touchdown of the game on a 15- yard run up the middle for Dacula, which led the entire game and took a 20-6 advantage into the half.
Jones capped the scoring with a spectacular run in which he weaved around numerous Lawrenceville defenders on his way to a 29- yard scoring TD. Hector Davies scored the lone touchdown for Lawrenceville on a 37-yard run.
Lawrenceville AL South 19, Buford NL East 13
The 7 year-old championship game saw a great comeback attempt end with some great play in the final quarter. Lawrenceville AL South overcame a 13-point deficit to get by Buford NL East 19-13 to claim the title.
Buford struck first as it ended a long drive in the first quarter with a 3-yard run by John Frazier that was the first half’s only points. The Wolves extended the lead to 13 in the third quarter when Frazier found the end zone again.
Trailing by two scores, Lawrenceville got its attack in gear thanks to Tyler Robinson and Joseph Stone Jr.
Robinson got his team on the scoreboard with a terrific 33-yard touchdown run after he avoided a tackle with a great stiff arm, which cut the gap to 13-6.
On its next possession, Lawrenceville let Stone do most of the work as he got loose in the open field and outran Buford defenders for a 24-yard score and a tie game, thanks to Stone’s successful conversion attempt.
The Lawrenceville defense stiffened and got the ball back to the offense with just under two minutes remaining. Robinson scored with just under a minute remaining, but his TD run was nullified because of a penalty.
However, Robinson’s moment to play hero was not lost as he took the handoff from his quarterback, dodged a defender and broke away from the pack for the game-winning, 30-yard touchdown run three plays later. The Lawrenceville defense held on for the win.
Mill Creek NL South 13, Dacula NL East 7
Four quarters was not enough to decide the champion in the 8-year-old division. Both teams played hard, but in the end Mill Creek NL South eked out the six point win over Dacula NL East in overtime.
Dacula started out strong, scoring on its second possession of the game and taking a 7-0 lead when Dacula’s Mason Kidd found a hole and then found the end zone 47 yards down the field for the score.
Mill Creek responded as running back Jamal Anderson sidestepped a defender and ran up the middle to tie the game at 7.
Neither team generated any more offense and both defenses made key fourth-down stops to keep the opposition off the board.
Dacula made a touchdown-saving play at the end of the first half as a forced fumble that rolled into the end zone stopped a second quarter scoring opportunity to keep the game locked.
Overtime rules give each team the ball at the 10-yard line and Dacula was unable to score as it was stopped four times.
However, Cole Mullins found a small hole on the right side and squeaked in to give Mill Creek the 8-year-old championship.
Peachtree Ridge NL North 20, Brookwood AL East 13
The 9-year-old championship was an intense battle as Brookwood AL East faced Peachtree Ridge NL North for the title. The reigning 8-year-old champs of Brookwood played well, but it was the running of Peachtree Ridge that delivered a 20-13 victory.
Both offenses were sharp to start the game as Brookwood took its opening drive down the field and scored on a 1-yard rush by Brant Baughcum.
Peachtree Ridge answered on Kyle Fisher’s 6-yard TD run that tied the game, but Brookwood responded with Alexander Campbell’s 3-yard TD run.
Peachtree Ridge then got a 1-yard TD run from Dylan Lonergan and Fisher’s conversion gave Peachtree Ridge a one-point advantage at the half.
Both defenses stepped up in the second half as the third quarter yielded no points on either side.
With the ball and the lead in the fourth, the Lions handed the ball to Grant Godfrey on four occasions. The fourth resulted in a dazzling run in which Godfrey cut by one defender to get into the open field and juked the final Brookwood player to run it into the end zone.
The Peachtree Ridge defense stiffened one more time and stopped Brookwood’s final fourth-down conversion attempt to seal the win and earn the 9-year-old championship.
Grayson AL East 19, Grayson AL South 14
In a rematch from the 9-year-old championship the year before, Grayson AL East defeated Grayson AL South 19-14. With Grayson East in the green uniforms and South in white, it looked more like a practice rather than the intense battle that actually happened.
East’s Jaden Smith opened the scoring when the Green Rams drove down the field on their second drive and handed it off to Smith for a 2-yard TD run.
South quarterback Giye Jenkins rolled to his right and threw a brillant rainbow pass to Garret Brophy, who outran the Green Rams into the end zone to bring his team to within a point following a missed PAT.
East took a drive down the field that chewed up most of the 80-yard terrain and the clock following a South punt. With just two seconds left, Smith got his second rushing touchdown of the half as he crossed the goal line as the horn sounded to end the half to give East a 13-6 halftime lead.
The defenses picked up the intensity in the third and kept the scoreboard dark for the period. In the fourth, Marsyas Fox finally broke through the line for East and extended the lead to 19-6.
South wasted little time getting the points back as Jenkins fielded the ensuing kickoff and dodged defenders before angling to the left corner of the end zone for a touchdown, which cut its deficit to 19-14.
Neither team could keep the ball for long on its next possessions, but South did manage one shot with just under three minutes remaining. However, South was stopped on fourth down for the fourth time as East sealed the win over its brothers from the same region for the second consecutive year.
Eighth grade, Division II Final
Mill Creek NL South 22, South Gwinnett AL South 0
Mill Creek NL South dominated defensively and took control of the game midway through the third quarter to capture the eighth grade, Division II Championship 22-0 over South Gwinnett AL South.
After a defensive struggle for most of the first half, Mill Creek started a late second quarter scoring drive from the South Gwinnett 43-yard line. Brady Longenecker connected with Hunter Governale on a 20-yard pass as the Hawks advanced to the South Gwinnett 22-yard line. Two plays later, Longenecker hit Governale again, this time on a 17 yard scoring strike. Following a successful two point conversion by Adrian Davis, Mill Creek led 8-0 with 1:09 left in the first half.
Early in the third quarter, the Hawks’ Shaka Heyward returned a Comet punt down to the South 25-yard line. The Hawks took advantage of the great field position a few plays later as Davis Sharpe caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Longenecker. A successful PAT by Alan Andrzejewski increased the Mill Creek lead to 15-0.
On the Hawks’ next possession, Davis broke free and scored on a nifty 44-yard TD run to cap a quick two-play scoring drive. Following another PAT by Andrzejewski the Hawks lead 22-0 with 33 seconds left in the third quarter.
11 year-old Final
Mill Creek NL South 25, South Gwinnett AL South 13
Mill Creek NL South got off to a quick start and kept the momentum going in a 25-13 win over South Gwinnett AL South in the 11-year-old title matchup.
The Hawks took the opening possession and moved 45 yards, capping the march with Ronald Clarke’s 16-yard TD run. They converted several third downs on the drive and took a 7-0 lead on Brendan York’s PAT.
It did not take long for the Comets to get into the scoring column, either. Isaiah Dunson took a Mill Creek punt at the Hawk 47-yard line and tight-roped down the sideline for the touchdown. Corey Lee converted the PAT and the score was tied at 7-7.
Clarke set the Hawks up in great field position on their next possession with a kickoff return of 25 yards to the South Gwinnett 42-yard line. York then scored on a 10-yard run to increase the Mill Creek lead to 13-7.
Mill Creek put together a very long 11-play, 67-yard scoring drive late in the third quarter as Ryan Birch scored on an 11-yard run. Clarke highlighted the drive with three carries for 36 yards. The PAT was unsuccessful as Mill Creek led 19-7.
Following a Comet turnover, York connected with Trey Mullins on a 29-yard TD pass to close out the scoring for the Hawks. After a failed PAT, the Hawks led 25-7 with 3:40 remaining in the contest.
South didn’t quit as it put together a quick scoring drive late that ended with Deshaun Robinson hitting Dunson with a 10-yard scoring strike to cut the Mill Creek lead to 25-13 with 2:19 left.
12 year-old Final
North Gwinnett NL South 30, North Gwinnett NL North 14
In a battle of North Gwinnett teams, National South defeated National North 30-14 in a hard-ought contest.
NL North opened the scoring as Mekal Fuller broke loose up the middle on a 29-yard TD run. Quarterback William Goldring started the quick, two-play drive with a run of 32 yards.
NL South got on the board with a long second-quarter drive as Kameron Brown plowed his way into the end zone from 6 yards out. The nine-play drive included key runs by Javonni Cunningham as well as Brown. The score was tied at 6-6 as the PAT was no good.
Following an impressive defensive effort by NL South, Tyler Boehm recovered a blocked punt on the NL North 20-yard line. Alex Contreras then capped a two-play scoring drive with a 12-yard TD run. Cameron Clark converted the point after kick to make the score 14-6.
With less than a minute left in the half, NL North’s Goldring completed a 30-yard pass to D.J. Turner down to the NL South 3-yard line. Goldring then connected with Garrison Manor on a 3-yard TD pass with only two seconds remaining in the half. The PAT kick by Manor tied the score 14-14 at the half.
NL South received the second-half kickoff and began moving as Brown picked up 18 yards, followed by a 20-yard advance by Cunningham to the NL North 14-yard line. Two plays later, Cunningham sprinted in for the touchdown from five yards out. The point after kick by Clark was good and Black led 22-14.
NL South took over on its 18 following an interception by Brown, who then capped an 82-yard drive with a 5-yard TD run. Cunningham carried for 39 yards on the drive while Brown contributed 43 yards. The successful PAT by Clark increased the NG South lead to 30-14.
Eighth grade, Division I Final
Grayson AL North 29, South Gwinnett AL South 0
Grayson AL North dominated the game from start to finish in defeating South Gwinnett AL South 29-0. The Rams’ stifling defense and grind-it-out ground game set the tone for the game.
Nick Prince opened the scoring for Grayson with a 4-yard TD run on fourth-and-goal. The score capped a long, methodical drive for the Rams. Will VanPamelen converted on the PAT kick to make the score 7-0.
The Rams increased their lead in the second quarter as Prince sprinted into the end zone on a 19-yard TD. The score capped a long, 75-yard drive which was highlighted by a 35-yard run by Alon McCall. The PAT by VanPamelen made the score 14-0.
Grayson began moving again on its next possession as quarterback Parker Meadows hooked up with J.T. Ferebee on a 30-yard pass play down to the South Gwinnett 29. Keegan Strickland capped the drive with a 3-yard TD run. Following the VanPamelen PAT, the Rams led 21-0.
Grayson put together another great drive as Prince broke off a 30-yard run to the Comet 40-yard line. Strickland then ran 25 yards down to the South Gwinnett 15. McCall closed out the Grayson scoring with a tough, 4-yard TD run. Kaleb Pierce caught a two-point conversion pass from Meadows to stretch the Grayson lead to 29-0.
To see additional photos from the Gwinnett Football League championship games, view the galleries HERE.