Collins Hill 52, North Gwinnett 23

For most of the night, the score board at Collins Hill was malfunctioning. But on the field, the Eagles’ offense worked just fine.

Led by junior quarterback Monty Horn, Collins Hill (1-3, 1-0 in Region 7AAAAAA) rolled up 515 yards of total offense en route to a 52-23 smack down of North Gwinnett (2-2, 0-1). It was the first win of the season for the Eagles, who had lost six of the last seven meetings with the Bulldogs. In fact, the computerized Maxwell Ratings had predicted North Gwinnett would win by 23 points. So much for computers.

After its first three possessions failed to result in points, Collins Hill scored the next four times it had the ball. The first points were set up by a 38-yard punt return to the North Gwinnett three yard line by David Beasley. On the first play from scrimmage, Jonathan Postell barreled into the end zone and the Eagles led 7-0 after Sam Glenn’s successful point after kick.

Collins Hill forced the Bulldogs into their third consecutive three-and-out, and took possession at its 40-yard line after the punt. Sam Glenn drilled a 30-yard field goal five plays later to make the score 10-0. North Gwinnett picked up a first down on its next possession, but punted the ball away, pinning the Eagles inside their 20 yard line late in the first quarter.

But Horn led a quick and efficient five-play 84 yard drive, capped by a 39-yard touchdown run by senior running back Jeremy Lewis, who darted off tackle and then raced down the near sideline for the score. Collins Hill faked the point after kick, and Horn hit Robert Snyder in the right flat for a two-point conversion and an 18-0 lead.

After another three-and-out by North Gwinnett, Collins Hill took over on its 36-yard line. The Bulldog secondary blew a coverage on the first play from scrimmage, leaving senior receiver Codi Russell all alone on the near sideline. Horn found him and Russell weaved his way 53 yards to the Bulldog 11-yard line. Four plays later, following a delay of game penalty, Horn rolled to his right before throwing back to a wide open Brett Shepherd along the left hash mark. The senior receiver walked into the end zone to boost the Eagle lead to 25-0 early in the second quarter.

But North Gwinnett finally got its offense untracked and took advantage of some Collins Hill mistakes to mount a comeback. First, the Bulldogs capitalized on a 12-yard punt by the Eagles, and took over possession at the Collins Hill 47-yard line. Fueled  by four Collins Hill penalties resulting in 28 yards, the Bulldogs finally scored when Jordan Frye bounced off a pile of would-be tacklers at the 2-yard line, reversed field and skipped into the end zone to make the score 25-7 after Manuel Herrera’s point after kick.

A brilliant diving interception down the far sideline by Cade Cash gave North Gwinnett possession again on its 37-yard line on Collins Hill’s first play of its ensuing possession. Six plays later Frye took a middle screen pass 33 yards for his second touchdown of the half to pull the Bulldogs to within 25-14.

A Collins Hill up back fumbled the kickoff and the Bulldogs recovered at the Eagles’ 29-yard line. On the seventh play of the drive, North Gwinnett executed the hook-and-lateral play perfectly as Horn hit Horace Buckley with a nine-yard dart on the far hash, and Buckley pitched to a trailing Ryan Lovelace, who sped down the sideline and into the end zone to narrow the gap to 25-21 with just over a minute left in the half.

But instead of sitting on the ball, Horn and the Eagle offense went back to work. A seven-play drive, featuring just one running play, was capped off  by a 37-yard touchdown pass from Horn to Canyon Slade with just 18 seconds left before half time, to push the Collins Hill lead to 32-21.

The Eagles put the game away for good by outscoring North Gwinnett 17-0 in the third quarter. Just as they had done in the first half, Collins Hill scored on three consecutive possessions – a 38-yard touchdown run by Horn, a 31-yard field goal by Glenn and a 31-yard run by Postell made the score 49-23.

North Gwinnett         0          21        0          2          23

Collins Hill                18        14        17        3          52

CH – Jonathan Postell 3 run (Sam Glenn kick)

CH – Glenn 30 fg

CH – Jeremy Lewis 39 run (Robert Snyder pass from Monty Horn)

CH – Brett Shepherd 15 pass from Horn (Glenn kick)

NG – Jordan Frye 2 run (Manuel Herrera kick)

NG – Frye 33 pass from Cade Fortin (Herrera kick)

NG – Ryan Lovelace 11 lateral from Horace Buckley, after 9 pass from Fortin (Herrera kick)

CH – Canyon Slade 37 pass from Horn (Glenn kick)

CH – Horn 38 run (Glenn kick)

CH – Glenn 31 fg

CH – Postell  31 run (Glenn kick)

CH – Glenn 35 fg

NG – Safety (Collins Hill runner tackled in own end zone)