Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Spirit Creek knocks off previously unbeaten Glenn Hills to finish regular season 5-0 ahead of next week's semifinals

Spirit Creek's Javaris Harris takes a handoff in Tuesday's win over Glenn Hills.

In Tuesday's battle between unbeaten Richmond County middle school teams, Spirit Creek used a formidable rushing attack to build a lead, and protected it late by forcing Glenn Hills to commit two turnovers in the second half as the Dolphins earned a 14-6 win on the road to secure a 5-0 regular season record and the top seed in the county's four team playoff, which starts next Wednesday.



Javaris Harris rushed for 149 yards on 12 carries, and Antwain Hendrieth logged another 42 yards on 5 carries, including a 14 yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Telly Johnson added an 11 yard touchdown run on the second play of the fourth quarter after Harris closed out the third with runs of 35, 24, 11 and 11 yards during a 72 yard drive that ate up nearly all of the time in the period following a Glenn Hills fumble.

That turnover was one of three in the second half by Glenn Hills. The fumble was forced by Johnson and Harris, and recovered by Corey Cooper at Spirit Creek's 28 yard line on the second half's third play from scrimmage.

Left to right: Javaris Harris, Antwain Hendrieth and James McDougald (Spirit Creek)


After the game, Spirit Creek coach Michael Collins credited his offensive line for creating the space for the Dolphins to gain 172 rushing yards on their first four possessions. And he commended his running backs for holding onto the ball during that turnover free stretch in which Spirit Creek built a 14-0 lead.

"Tonight was what you saw. It was tremendous. Our offensive linemen. Everything started up front," Collins said as he patted right guard Brian Bailey on his back. "We did what we had to do. Our running backs held on to the ball. The coaches coached well. We played together. Stuck it out. And here we have an undefeated season."

Spirit Creek Guard Brian Bailey

After falling behind 14-0, Glenn Hills benefitted from forcing a fumble themselves when Judd Brown stripped Harris and sixth grader Jarvis Singfield, who recorded 4 tackles during the game, recovered the ball on the Seminoles' 28 yard line. Glenn Hills then took to the air as quarterback Danny Daggett completed a short pass to Lejuan Meyers, who ran 15 yards the Spirit Creek 42 yard line. Then J'Kelyn Carroll took a pitch from Daggett and quickly unloaded a long pass to Jonathan Brown, who caught it and was brought down at the 6 yard line. James Pride, a big, strong and agile Seminole running back who proved throughout the game to be difficult to bring down, rushed for a 6 yard touchdown two plays later to bring Glenn Hills to within one score at 14-6.

James Pride (Glenn Hills) scored on a 6 yard touchdown run in Tuesday's loss.

Glenn Hills would have two more chances to even the score. The Seminoles were first denied when Corey Cooper shot into the Glenn Hills backfield and disrupted a handoff near midfield, allowing Hendrieth to pick the ball up off the ground and run it back to the Glenn Hills 28. After turning the ball over on downs, Spirit Creek got its third takeaway of the half when Willie Taylor intercepted a pass by Daggett near midfield to seal the win with 1:11 remaining.

Evans Middle Claims Columbia County Title


Brenden Reynolds (Evans Middle) rushed for 192 yards and 5 touchdowns Tuesday.

Evans Middle thrashed Lakeside 38-0 to finish its season 7-0 and win the Columbia County middle school championship. Its 14-0 win over Grovetown (see game highlights here) ensured the Knights would be their division's representative in the championship game. Evans got a standout performance by running back Brenden Reynolds, who rushed for 192 yards and 5 touchdowns, in Tuesday's win.


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