NORCROSS — Greater Atlanta Christian scored six different ways as the No. 2 state-ranked Spartans remained undefeated and cruised to a 67-20 win over the Howard School of Chattanooga, Tenn., Friday night at Spartan Stadium.
GAC scored on a kickoff return, a punt return, an interception return, a fumble return, a run and a pass en route to the 47-point victory.
“I thought our guys played hard and did some good things,” said GAC head coach Tim Hardy. “We had some explosive plays in the return game and on defense. We were also pretty clean on offense. It was also good to have a lot of guys involved. Overall, I thought we came out pretty sharp after the bye week.”
GAC also improved to 5-0 and now makes a trip to Thomson, which defeated the Spartans 36-27 last year and should provide a stern test before region play begins on Oct. 11 against Westminster.
“This will be a great test for us,” said Hardy of the trip to Thomson’s famed Brickyard. “They are a good (Class) AAA team and we’re excited about the challenge. Thomson is an excellent football team and we’re looking forward to it.”
GAC, which has scored 41 or more points in every game so far, wasted no time jumping on top in this one-sided contest as Micah Abernathy took the opening kickoff and returned it 93 yards for a 7-0 lead.
GAC added three more touchdowns in the opening quarter as the Spartans pushed the advantage to 28-0.
Parker Polhill hauled in a 33-yard pass from Rafe Chapple and also returned a punt 69 yards for a score.
Abernathy added his second TD of the night on a 4-yard run.
Howard (1-4) finally got on the scoreboard when Quatarrius Porter caught a 21-yard pass from Cudjoe Young to make the score 28-7.
But GAC continued to dominate the contest as the Spartans extended the lead to 46-7 at the half.
Chris Williams caught a 25-yard pass from Chapple, Abernathy raced in from 41 yards out and Ross Wood returned an interception 90 yards to complete the first-half scoring.
Chapple, who didn’t play the second half, finished 5-for-7 for 101 yards and two TD passes, while Abernathy, who also sat out the second half, had 105 yards on seven carries and three TDs.
Howard added a 30-yard run by Brooks and GAC got a 19-yard scoring run from Jaelen Venable to complete the scoring in the third quarter as the Spartans extended the lead to 53-14.
Brooks, who left the game in the fourth quarter, finished the game 17 of 26 with an interception for 247 yards through the air, and also scrambled his way for 37 yards.
GAC added two scores in the final quarter.
Harrison Kerr raced to the end zone from 65 yards away after he snuck in and literally stole a handoff in the Howard backfield.
Alex Rowe completed the scoring on a 50-yard run.
GAC 67, HOWARD (Tenn.) 20
Howard (Tenn.) 0 7 7 6 — 20
GAC 28 18 7 14 — 67
GAC: Micah Abernathy 93 kickoff return (Brandon Holzgrefe kick) 11:45
GAC: Parker Polhill 33 pass from Rafe Chapple (Holzgrefe kick) 5:27
GAC: Abernathy 4 run (Holzgrefe kick) 3:54
GAC: Polhill 69 punt return (Holzgrefe kick) 2:10
Howard: Quatarrius Porter 21 pass from Cudjoe Young (Terrance Brooks kick) 10:00
GAC: Chris Williams 25 pass from Chapple (kick failed) 9:10
GAC: Abernathy 41 run (kick failed) 2:44
GAC: Ross Wood 90 interception return (kick failed) :06
Howard: Brooks 30 run (Brooks kick) 4:55
GAC: Jaelen Venable 19 run (Will Kenworthy kick) 2:55
GAC: Harrison Kerr 65 fumble return (Kenworthy kick) 9:03
Howard: Lorenzo McCauley 1 run (run failed) 6:14
GAC: Alex Rowe 50 run (Kenworthy kick) 4:33