Norcross wide receiver Clinton Lynch (2) tries to get away from the tackle of Mountain View’s Bryce McCloud (49) after making the catch during Friday night’s game at Moutain View. (Photo: Karl L. Moore)
LAWRENCEVILLE — After a sluggish first quarter, the Norcross Blue Devils caught fire in the second quarter and defeated Mountain View 37-6 on Friday night in Region 7-AAAAAA football.
The Blue Devil defense was dominant again as it held the Bears to 150 yards of total offense.
A.J. Bush led the attack for Norcross (6-2, 5-1 region) with his legs as well as his arm as he passed for two scores and ran for two more which included a 44-yard touchdown run, his longest of the year.
“We had a real good game last week against Collins Hill and we just wanted to get back to being the consistent good team that we know we can be,” said Bush. “It is important for us to put together a string of wins, especially after the rough start we had this year.”
Norcross scored quickly on its opening possession as Josh Boyd scampered in from 11 yards out. The score capped a six-play, 64-yard drive in which Boyd carried four times for 39 yards. Norcross led 7-0 at the 9:31 mark of the first quarter.
The Blue Devils’ next possession covered 64 yards in 9 plays and was finished when Blake Bingham kicked a 28 yard field goal. The drive was highlighted by a 20-yard catch by Clinton Lynch as well as a 26-yard catch by Darian Dennis. Norcross increased its lead to 10-0 with 23 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
“They are a good football team and we knew that going into the game,” said Norcross head coach Keith Maloof. “Mountain View was in both of their last two games at halftime, so we knew it was not going to be easy. Offensively we were a little sluggish early but we finally got it going, especially defensively. Our defense has been outstanding recently and tonight was no different.”
Kentavius Latham set up the Blue Devils next score as he recovered a muffed Mountain View punt on the Bears’ 9-yard line. Quarterback A.J. Bush connected on a 14-yard TD pass to Chris Herndon that completed a quick, three-play scoring drive and stretched the Blue Devil lead to 17-0 at the 7:00 mark of the second quarter.
Norcross closed out the first half scoring when Bush and Herndon teamed up again for a 6-yard TD. The score was set up by a 33-yard pass from Bush to Lynch. Norcross led 24-0 with only 48 seconds remaining in the first half.
Norcross wasted no time in the third quarter as they quickly scored on a two-play drive as Bush broke loose and sprinted 44 yards for the Blue Devils touchdown. Following the failed PAT, Norcross increased its lead to 30-0 at the 8:43 mark of the third quarter.
After forcing a Norcross fumble, Kielan Whitner recovered the ball on the Blue Devil 33 yard giving the Bears their best field position of the night. Following a seven-play drive, Jeff Hollingsworth booted a 28-yard field goal.
Bush completed the scoring for the Blue Devils as he scampered 10 yards for another score. The drive of six plays and 65 yards was highlighted by a 53-yard pass from Bush to Lynch.
The Bears (1-6, 1-4) would not quit as they mounted one more long drive which resulted in another field goal by Hollingsworth, this time from 33 yards away.
“Next week’s game with Peachtree Ridge is possibly for home field advantage in the playoffs,” Maloof said. “We have got to be focused in practice next week and prepare ourselves for a big game next Friday night”
Quarterback A.J. Bush finished the night 8 of 10 for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 75 yards on seven carries and two scores.
Norcross 10 14 6 7 — 37
Mountain View 0 0 3 3 — 6
Norcross: Josh Boyd 11 run (Blake Bingham kick) 9:31
Norcross: Bingham 28 FG,0 :23
Norcross: Chris Herndon 14 pass from A.J. Bush (Bingham kick) 7:oo
Norcross: Herndon 6 pass from Bush (Bingham kick) :48
Norcross: A.J. Bush 44 run (PAT failed) 8:43
Mountain View: Jeff Hollingsworth 28 FG, :40
Norcross: Bush 10 run (Chandler Schaefer kick) 9:56
Mountain View: Hollingsworth 33 FG, :25