Thursday, May 23, 2013
Sandy Creek shakes off slow start, beats Dalton 35-13
By Jimmie Haywood
Antonio Williams had two huge touchdowns for the Patriots.
(Staff Photo by Christopher Dunn)
The Sandy Creek Fighting Patriots football team steamed past the Dalton Catamounts in their second round playoff game by a final score of 35-13 Friday night.
"The defense played great again," said Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker whose team remains perfect at 12-0 this season.
On a night when the Patriots passing attack was held in check, the running game more than just picked up the slack as both Eric Swinney and Delvin Weems each rushed for over 100 yards and combined for three scores.
Antonio Williams chipped in with two goal line rushing touchdowns to help Sandy Creek coast into the quarterfinals of the region AAAA tournament.
"They ran good," said Walker of his backfield. "They did some really good things out there."
After Dalton went ahead early following a 50 yard interception return for a touchdown by Eder Mora, Sandy Creek responded by scoring the game's next two scores (1 yard run by Williams and 3 yard run by Swinney) to help them take a 14-7 lead into the half.
In the second half, Sandy Creek continued to keep Dalton in check defensively while the offense continued to pound it on the ground as Weems capped off the Patriots onslaught with a 22 yard burst to the end zone with 3:35 remaining in the game.
Dalton added a late score when Cole Calfee hooked up with Brandon Dale with 13 seconds left in the game, although the extra point was unsuccessful.
It was certainly the ground game that powered the Patriots to the win, racking up 304 rushing yards as a team. Weems led the way with 149 yards and a score on 16 carries. Swinney was on his tail with 147 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Antonio Williams added the two huge touchdowns and 12 yards.
They picked up the slack for the passing game that was uncharacteristically stagnant. Cole Garvin completed 12 of 21 passes for 143 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Kyle Wilson led the Patriot receivers with four catches for 47 yards.
Wesley Sullivan led the defense with 12 tackles. Chris Williams and Josh Branom each picked up a sack. Shaquille Wiggins and Spencer Roberts each hauled in an interception.
Sandy Creek won the coin flip Saturday morning for home-field advantage in next Friday’s quarterfinal round where they will host Burke County, who comes in with an 11-1 overall record with 11 straight wins.
"We made way too many mistakes offensively and that was a big thing so we have to work on that," Walker said. "If we play like that again we're going to get beat."
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