Collins Hill’s Davis Herman (3) celebrates their 35-28 victory over Peachrtree Ridge after high school football action in Suwanee on Friday. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)
SUWANEE — Collins Hill head coach Kevin Reach felt like his football team has been overlooked all season.
In a region with defending state champion Norcross and No. 1 ranked North Gwinnett, the Eagles have received little recognition despite being undefeated.
They got people’s attention on Friday night.
Quarterback Tyler Herman threw for a school-record 427 yards and four touchdowns to lead Collins Hill to a 35-28 win over No. 4-ranked Peachtree Ridge.
“This is a huge rivalry and we just beat the No. 4 team in the state,” Herman said.
The win keeps Collins Hill (5-0, 3-0 region) in the hunt for the Region 7-AAAAAA title with North Gwinnett as the only undefeated teams in the region. The Eagles get defending state champion Norcross next week.
“We’ve got a good football team,” Reach said. “I felt like we’ve been under the radar this season. I knew Peachtree Ridge was going to be a dog fight.”
Collins Hill trailed 28-20 in the fourth quarter after Peachtree Ridge’s Jordan Ellis scored on a four-yard run. It was the third rushing TD for Ellis, a Virginia commitment, who finished with 102 yards on 20 carries.
Then the Eagles began their comeback. Herman threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Quentin Jones with 7:12 left in the game. Dwayne Smith caught the two-point conversion to tie the game.
On the Lions’ next possession, the center’s snap went over quarterback Chance Thrasher’s head for a 22-yard loss and they were forced to punt.
“It was just an unfortunate thing,” Peachtree Ridge coach Mark Fleetwood said. “It happens sometimes.”
Herman rolled to right and hit Grant McDonald down the sideline for a 65-yard touchdown pass. After Ian Morrison’s only PAT of the game, the Eagles led 35-28 with 4:01 left in the game. McDonald had five catches for 136 yards.
“We had to go for it and Grant made a great play,” Herman said.
The Eagles’ defense came up with two more big stops to seal the win. One of them included a final play of the game with no time on the clock after the Collins Hill student body rushed the field prior to the game ending, forcing a penalty and one last play that was incomplete.
“They can’t do that and rush the field like that,” Reach said. “It’s a big win for our school.”
Peachtree Ridge put together a 7-play, 80-yard scoring drive in the first quarter. Ellis scored on a 19-yard run to put Peachtree Ridge ahead 7-0.
The Eagles came right back with Smith catching a 37-yard pass and Peachtree Ridge was whistled offsides on fourth down. Smith had 105 yards receiving on two catches.
“You can’t win when you do that,” Fleetwood said of the Lions’ 12 penalties for 120 yards.
Three plays later, Herman threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Rhyan England and after the Eagles failed to convert the two-point play trailed 7-6.
“We wanted to set the tone. We didn’t execute the play, but luckily it didn’t bite us in the butt,” Herman said.
Peachtree Ridge (5-1, 3-1) quickly added to its lead with a 63-yard touchdown by Myron Burton from Chance Thrasher to go ahead 14-6 with 5:52 left in the half. Thrasher was 24 of 39 for 324 yards with one TD and one interception. Burton was his leading receiver with 11 catches for 182 yards and Brandon Johnson had seven for 59 yards.
Lion safety Zey Lacet injured his right leg and was carted off the field. On the next play, Smith caught a 68-yard touchdown pass from Herman with 1:44 left. After the two-point conversion failed, the Eagles trailed 14-12 at the half. Smith also had an interception on defense and made nine tackles. Joseph Park led the defense with 13 stops.
Collins Hill began the second half with a pair of field goals from Paul Ille from 35 and 19 yards to take an 18-14 lead. Ellis scored his second his TD to regain the Lions’ lead and then the Eagles’ Canyon Slade blocked a punt for a safety to make it 21-20 in the third quarter.
“I think that was a huge momentum swing,” Reach said. “But they were back and fourth. I was proud of our defense.”
After Ellis scored his third TD, Herman led the Eagles to a fourth-quarterback comeback.
“We’ve got a bunch of kids that are resilient and won’t quit,” Reach said.
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COLLINS HILL 35, PEACHTREE RIDGE 28
Peachtree Ridge 7 7 7 7 — 28
Collins Hill 0 12 6 17 — 35
Peachtree Ridge: Jordan Ellis 19 run (Evan Pantels kick) 2:01
Collins Hill: Rhyan England 17 pass from Tyler Herman (Two-point conversion failed) 10:54
Peachtree Ridge: Myron Burton 63 pass from Chance Thrasher (Pantels kick) 5:52
Collins Hill: Dwayne Smith 68 pass from Herman (Two-point conversion failed) 1:44
Collins Hill: Paul Ille 35 FG, 8:55
Collins Hill: Ille 19 FG, 5:36
Peachtree Ridge: Ellis 4 run (Pantels kick) 2:17
Collins Hill: Safety, 11:22
Peachtree Ridge: Jordan Ellis 4 run (Pantels kick) 8:57
Collins Hill: Quentin Jones 27 pass from Herman (Dwayne Smith two-point conversion) 7:12
Collins Hill: Grant McDonald 65 pass from Herman (Ian Morrison kick) 4:01
PR -- CH
First downs 22 12
Rushes-yards 35-174 28-63
Comp-Att-Int 24-39-1 20-38-0
Passing yards 324 427
Penalties-yards 12-120 6-59
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-0
RUSHING — Peachtree Ridge: Jordan Ellis 20-102; Chance Thrasher 13-80; DeAngelo Gibbs 1-(-8). Collins Hill: Tyler Henderson 18-24; Tyler Herman 7-29; Ari Benoit 3-10.
PASSING — Peachtree Ridge: Chance Thasher 24-39-1, 324. Collins Hill: Tyler Herman 20-37-0, 427; Dwayne Smith 0-1-0.
RECEIVING — Peachtree Ridge: Myron Burton 11-182; Brandon Johnson 7-59; Malik Robinson 3-18; Jordan Ellis 1-0; Tyler Campbell 2-65. Collins Hill: C.J. Davis 3-29; Grant McDonald 5-136; Rhyan England 3-23; Dwayne Smith 2-105; Quentin Jones 4-79; Tyler Henderson 1-47; Amadi Stephens 2-8.
HIGHLIGHTS: Peachtree Ridge vs. Collins Hill Football
Highlights from the Peachtree Ridge vs. Collins Hill football game on Oct. 4, 2013.