LILBURN — Archer officially clinched a playoff spot with a 37-7 win over Berkmar Friday. It was a game that saw the Tigers deliver in all phases, scoring on offense, defense and special teams.
“Great team win for us,” said Archer head coach Andy Dyer. “It was great to have a night where we scored in every facet of the game.”
The Tigers only totaled 154 yards of offense, but that was due in part to the defense and special teams giving it great field position throughout the game.
Archer scored on its first offensive drive, taking eight plays to go 33 yards, culminating in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Gabe Tiller to K.J. Parmer.
An interception set up the Tigers again with good field position as they 58 yards in seven plays as Tiller found Parmer again for a 13-yard score, making the score 13-0.
From there, the Archer defense got another interception, this time from Duane Lee, who returned it 28 yards for the touchdown.
After Berkmar was forced to punt on its next drive, Archer got a piece of the ball as Kenny Muraoka caught the tipped ball and returned it 35 yards for the score.
The Tigers’ defense again forced a turnover on Berkmar’s next drive as they recovered a fumble on a third-down play to set themselves up for one final drive in the half.
However, Berkmar’s defense held the line on first-and-goal, forcing Archer into a 21-yard field goal with seconds left in the half. By that time, it was 30-0 heading into the locker room.
Parmer started the second half with a flair, returning the kickoff 71 yards for the touchdown. It also was the first kickoff return for a touchdown in school history.
From there, neither team amounted much until Berkmar made a little noise near the end of the fourth quarter.
Randy Griffin, who finished the game with 156 yards, got the ball on six-straight plays, culminating in a 47-yard touchdown run to put the Patriots on the board.
“You know you’re always going to get 1,000 percent from Randy,” said Berkmar head coach Jonathan Sanks. “Our guys played hard, but we didn’t execute. Turnovers killed us all night.”
In the end, it was too late as Archer ran out the clock on its next drive.
With the win, the Tigers clinched a playoff spot for the second time in school history.
“That’s our goal every year,” Dyer said. “Anything else is sub-par.”
Dyer said the focus will now turn to South Gwinnett.
“They’re a young team, but young teams are dangerous,” he said.
Archer 37, Berkmar 7
Archer 13 17 7 0 — 37
Berkmar 0 0 0 7 — 7
Archer: KJ Parmer 15 pass from Gabe Tiller (kick failed) 6:11
Archer: Parmer 13 pass from Tiller (Michael Frye kick) 2:47
Archer: Duane Lee 28 interception return (Frye kick) 10:05
Archer Kenny Muraoka 35 punt return (Frye kick) 4:20
Archer: Frye 21 field goal :00
Archer: Parmer 71 kickoff return (Frye kick) 11:47
Berkmar: Randy Griffin 47 (Alexis Marquez kick) 1:54