Buford defeats Mill Creek for Gwinnett Football League's Eighth Grade, Division I championship
HOSCHTON — Buford rolled to the Gwinnett Football League’s Eighth Grade, Division I championship Saturday with a 33-8 victory over host Mill Creek.
The Wolves were dominant in all three phases of the game from first snap to last.
A short Mill Creek punt on the game’s first possession placed the Wolves on the Hawk 35-yard line. Ethan Ervin got the Wolves started soon after on an 18-yard touchdown run. Ervin hit the hole, dodged one defender and hit paydirt from there to go up 7-0.
Mill Creek called and raised the Wolves on the ensuing drive as they added two extra points to a seven-yard A.J. Bush-Ethan Campbell touchdown connection.
The fireworks didn’t stop there, though, as a 33-yard touchdown dash courtesy of Chris Garland served as a quick response. Garland took a handoff left, veered right and juked, jived, ran through and ran over Hawk defenders to regain the lead.
A fumbled snap on a Mill Creek punt the next drive gave Buford a short, 40-yard field. Yet again, the Wolves made quick work of the Mill Creek stop squad as a deep ball set up a five-yard Ervin rushing touchdown.
Buford kept rolling through halftime and into the third as Ervin kicked the door down again from four yards out. The Wolves led 27-8.
Following three consecutive turnovers on three consecutive plays, Buford orchestrated an 87-yard, 12-minute touchdown drive to slam the door on the Hawks’ hopes. Quarterback Shane Throgmartin kept it from a yard out to score the game’s final points.
Buford tops Lanier for Gwinnett Football League's Eighth Grade, Division II trophy
HOSCHTON — Buford dominated in all three phases of the game Saturday on the way to a 20-0 victory over Lanier in the Gwinnett Football League’s Eighth Grade, Division II title game at Mill Creek.
Following a quick three-and-out on offense, the Buford defense quickly responded on Lanier’s first possession of the day. Two fumbles and a botched fake punt later, the Wolves got the ball back on the Longhorn 15-yard line. Two plays later, running back Sterling Carter walked into the end zone on a four-yard toss sweep to draw first blood.
Lanier turned the ball over again on downs on the ensuing drive. The Wolves’ offense kept rolling as Carter capped off a 64-yard drive with his second score of the day. Carter took a handoff at the 10-yard line, bounced outside and beat the Longhorn defense to the corner of the end zone to extend the Buford lead to 13.
Buford denied Lanier a chance to score after three consecutive incomplete passes turned the ball over on downs and stopped a 72-yard Longhorn drive right before the half.
The Wolves’ offense showed signs of struggle coming out of the gates, punting for the first time since their opening drive in the first half. Also similar to the first half, a Lanier turnover on fourth down gave the Buford attack what it needed to get rolling again. This time, it came courtesy of Austin Hurd, who jumped in front of a post route and took the ball to the Lanier 22. Garrett Spence put the Longhorns to bed soon after, plowing through the Longhorn front and into the end zone from two yards out.
Big second half gives Duluth the Gwinnett Football League 12-year-old title over Parkview
HOSCHTON — Duluth’s 12-year-old team rebounded from a scoreless first half for an explosive second half Saturday en route to a 26-8 win over Parkview in the Gwinnett Football League championship game at Mill Creek.
The Panthers roared first on their opening possession when Christopher Nunn capped off a 57-yard, nine-minute drive with a one-yard touchdown run. The Panthers converted the two-point PAT to get an eight-point lead.
A long, seven minute drive from Duluth eventually resulted in a punt. Parkview started its second and final drive of the first half on its own 24. A heave to the end zone missed out of bounds in the final seconds to keep the score at 8-0 at the break.
In the second half, though, the Duluth attack came out hot. Deuce Geralds broke off a 72-yard touchdown run, dashing across the goal line. The Wildcats converted the two-point PAT to tie the score at eight.
An onside kick recovery on the ensuing kickoff gave the Wildcats a short 42-yard field. Five snaps later, Duluth took control on another Geralds touchdown run. The PAT was blocked to keep the score at 14-8.
The Wildcats then forced a turnover on downs on their own 33-yard line. Two minutes and 67 yards later, Sedric Addison extended the Duluth lead on a 22-yard touchdown run as he bowled through the Panther front and cruised into the end zone. The PAT was blocked again as Duluth asserted a 20-8 lead early in the fourth quarter.
An interception on Parkview’s next drive and one final Geralds score finally put the Panthers to bed.
Grayson squeaks by Duluth in Gwinnett Football League's 11-year-old finals
HOSCHTON — It came down to the final minute of the game, but Grayson finally prevailed in an 8-6 defensive battle over Duluth to win the Gwinnett Football League’s 11-year-old championship Saturday at Mill Creek.
After both teams traded turnovers on downs on their opening drives, the Ram offense got the ball at the Duluth 49. From there, Preston Glasco had Grayson fans cheering first on a five-yard rushing touchdown. Glasco cut left on a quarterback counter and dove across the goal line for the first half’s only touchdown. A two-point conversion kick extended the early lead to eight points.
Duluth failed to capitalize on a short field late in the second quarter as the score remained 8-0 at halftime.
After a dry third quarter, Duluth finally broke its silence in the fourth when Cameron Jones wove through the Ram defense and into the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown run and capped off a 47-yard drive. The Wildcats failed to convert the extra two points.
However, the Duluth special teams quickly reconciled their mistakes as a recovered onside kick set their offense up on the Grayson 40. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they were only able to convert one first down before another turnover on downs.
Facing a fourth down at his own 38-yard line, Glasco had one last big run, picking up the first down and clinching the title for the Rams.
Buford downs Grayson in battle of unbeatens for Gwinnett Football League 10-year-old title
HOSCHTON — In a battle of unbeatens, Buford Gold outlasted Grayson 19-6 in the Gwinnett Football League’s 10-year-old title game Saturday at Mill Creek.
Keshon Blow opened the scoring for the Wolves in the first quarter by rumbling 10 yards off tackle for the score. The key play on the drive was the conversion of a fourth-and-seven when quarterback Hudson Favors kept the ball on the naked bootleg and picked ups 15 yards and a fresh set of downs. Tripp Chatmon was stopped short on the conversion attempt to keep the score at 6-0.
Grayson used a pass to set up the tying touchdown. From their own 39, Rams quarterback Jamal Ambler connected with Marcel Humphrey on a slant. Humphrey then shook off the defender and raced down the left sideline on a play that covered 50 yards to the Buford 11. Elijah Kilgore rushed in for the touchdown from two yards out to tie the game at six as the extra point kick attempt was blocked.
Chatmon’s four-yard burst around left end was followed by a successful extra point by Blow to give the Wolves a 13-6 lead in the third quarter. With Grayson desperate to get the ball for a final game tying drive, Buford then salted the game away with a 73-yard dive for the clinching touchdown. Favors scored the touchdown on a sneak from the one.
Grayson edges Collins Hill for Gwinnett Football League's 9-year-old crown
HOSCHTON — Grayson held off Collins Hill 14-13 to cap its undefeated season with the 9-year-old Gwinnett Football League championship Saturday at Mill Creek.
It was a rematch of a game earlier in the year, which the Rams also won by a single point, 7-6.
Grayson took the game’s opening possession 50 yards to dent the scoreboard. Using five minutes of the opening quarter, the Rams’ Cyrer Coleman scored on a four-yard run. Taurean Ellinger converted the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Grayson tacked on to its lead on 20-yard run by Ellinger in which he broke numerous tackles. Austin Leonard then passed to Quinton Henry for the extra point to give the Rams a 14-point lead.
On the previous touchdown, Grayson was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, which moved the ensuing kickoff back 10 yards to its own 30. This became even more significant when the Eagles Jaylon Walker gathered in the kickoff on the right side of the field at the 43 and wove his way across the field and ended up scoring on the left sideline. The conversion on the extra point brought the score to 14-7 at the half.
Late in the third quarter, Collins Hill held Grayson on a fourth down at midfield. The Eagles were then able to drive down and opened the fourth quarter with a fourth-and-goal from the Rams’ three-yard line. Walker went over the right side to bring Collins Hill within one. The extra point attempt was stopped short, which eventually was the winning margin.
Mill Creek earns Gwinnett Football League's 8-year-old title with OT win over Grayson
HOSCHTON — After battling to a scoreless tie in regulation, host Mill Creek won the Gwinnett Football League’s 8-year-old title 6-0 in overtime Saturday against Grayson.
The third-seeded Hawks were able to extract four takeaways against the fifth-seeded Rams in regulation, but were unable to turn those into any points.
In overtime, Grayson took the ball first on the 15 and earned a first down on the five. Maddox Neal gained two yards to move the ball to the three. On third-and-goal, Junior Johnson gained one to set up fourth down. A false start penalty on the Rams moved the ball back to the seven. Johnson dropped back and lofted a pass to the left side of the end zone where it fell incomplete.
Mill Creek took possession and on its first play, Jace Woodall swept around the left end for 11 yards to the four. After a one-yard gain moved it to the three, Braylon Ferguson went off tackle and scored the championship-winning touchdown.
Grayson rolls past North Gwinnett to win Gwinnett Football League 6- and 7-year-old title
HOSCHTON — Grayson Green used a second-quarter blitz to defeat North Gwinnett 26-0 Saturday for the Gwinnett Football League’s 6- and 7-year-old championship at Mill Creek.
The win caps an undefeated season for Grayson, though things didn’t start so well for the Rams.
On the first play of the game, Grayson fumbled and it was recovered by the Bulldogs. The Rams defense stiffened and held North Gwinnett out of the end zone. Neither team was able to dent the scoreboard in the first quarter.
With the teams scoreless in the second quarter, Grayson’s Dre’den Wedlowe raced 68 yards for the touchdown. With the converted extra point, the Rams led 7-0. Another big play, still in the second quarter, added to the Grayson lead. Anthony Austin scored from 38 yards on a rush to increase the margin. The extra point was good, making it 14-0.
Trying to mount a comeback, North was unable to sustain its drives and Grayson added to its lead when Kyrif White scored from one yard out to make it 20-0. Austin capped off the championship with a 17-yard run in the second half for his second touchdown.
Gwinnett Football League presents season-ending awards, scholarships
The Gwinnett Football League not only crowned its champions from the 2020 season Saturday at Mill Creek, it also presented a number of scholarships and awards.
Violet Parsons of Lanier cheerleading received the prestigious Kyle Maynard Courage Award, and Peachtree Ridge’s Andy Nelson was named GFL Representative of the Year. Kim Massengill, the GFL’s longtime vice president of cheerleading, also was honored for her 26 years of service to the league.
The league also awarded the following scholarships:
In Memory of Damon Jones: Carly Sammons
In Memory of John Sears: Amyla Milton
Im Memory of Gilbert Nolen: Emily Chandler
In Memory of Doug Pickett: Aaron McNair
In Memory of Nick Blakely: Suubi Mutebi
In Memory of Leslie Durio: Jade Gordon
GFL Scholarship: Ayana Brooks
GFL Scholarship: Janai Brown
GFL Scholarship: Cameron Ellerby
GFL Scholarship: Symia Pressley
GFL Scholarship: Isabelle Wiggs
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