ELCA 42, Tattnall Square 21

Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy outscored Tattnall Square Academy 21-7 in the third quarter to bust open a close game and claim a 42-21 win in one Class A private school semifinal, Friday night in Stockbridge.

The Chargers (13-0) the No. 1 seed, led fifth-seeded Tattnall (12-1), 14-7 at the half. On its first drive of the second half, ELCA appeared to have boosted its lead to 21-7 twice, but both scores – a 48-yard run by Trevor Gear and a 54-yard pass from Brayden Rush to Sean Queen – were both called back on penalties.

Tattnall’s ensuing drive was thwarted by a Tre Douglas interception, which he returned to the Trojan 31-yard line. Two plays later Gear darted in from 19 yards out to make it 21-14. But Tattnall responded with an eight-play, 81-yard drive, capped by a Destin Mack’s 12-yard touchdown run to narrow the gap to 21-14, with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

But ELCA put the game away, essentially, with two scores in less than 90 seconds. On the first play of the Charger’s next drive, Rush hit Queen on a skinny post route, and the junior speedster raced 73 yards to push the ELCA lead to 28-14. Then, just three plays into Tattnall’s ensuing drive, junior linebacker Caleb Dallas plucked a tipped pass out of the air and returned it 30 yards for a pick-six and a 35-14 lead for the Chargers heading into the fourth quarter.

A 52-yard run by Ahmad Barron pulled the Trojans to within 35-21 midway through the final period. But the Chargers closed the scoring with another pick-six, this one on a fake punt attempt, as sophomore linebacker Johnathan Youngblood returned the interception 22 yards for a 42-21 lead with just over four minutes left in regulation.