Mill Creek left Gwinnett County football fans with a good taste in their mouths after Week 1 of the season, as the Eagles (1-0) pounded fellow Class AAAAAAA foe East Coweta, 38-6 in the final game of the Corky Kell Classic at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, late Saturday night.
Mill Creek struck first, taking advantage of the game’s first turnover late in the first quarter. East Coweta wingback Amaryion Moss picked up four yards on a jet sweep to the near sideline but fumbled and Mill Creek recovered at midfield. On the Hawks’ first play from scrimmage, junior running back Joshua Battle darted up the middle on an inside trap and raced 50 yards untouched into the end zone. Junior Brock Pellegrino’s kick made it 7-0 Hawks, with just nine seconds to play in the period.
Mill Creek looked poised to add to its lead on its next possession, as a 39-yard run by Chancellor Lee-Parker set the Hawks up first-and-goal at the East Coweta 8-yard line. On the next play, Lee-Parker bounced outside to left and scored, but the play was nullified by a block in the back. The Eagles’ next four plays from scrimmage were a 1-yard loss, an illegal formation penalty, an illegal forward pass penalty and a 4-yard loss.
Just like that, what had been first-and-goal from the 8-yard line, turned into fourth-and-goal from the 44-yard line, and Mill Creek was forced to punt.
East Coweta returned the favor by shooting itself in the foot on its next possession. On third-and-20, senior receiver Rakiyan Moss beat his man down the near hash mark and senior quarterback Devin Gelband hit him in stride for a 41-yard gain to midfield. But the next three plays from scrimmage produced a 3-yard loss (bad option pitch), a 10-yard loss (bad shotgun snap), and a 9-yard loss. East Coweta was forced to punt.
Mill Creek took over on its 48-yard line and on the fourth play from scrimmage, sophomore quarterback Thurman Harris hit junior Romeo Pelham along the far hash mark for a 32-yard touchdown to put the Eagles ahead 14-0, with a little over four minutes left in the half.
East Coweta went three-and-out on its next possession, but flipped the field on the punt, pinning Mill Creek at its 18-yard line. On the first snap, Lee-Parker sprinted 71-yards to the East Coweta 11-yard line, where he was run down by senior speedster Chris Pitt. Two plays later, Battle scored from a yard out to push the lead to 21-0 just before halftime.
The Eagles essentially put the game on ice on their first possession of the second half. Junior receiver Khamari Glover got things off to a good start when he returned East Coweta’s punt 21 yards up the near sideline to the East Coweta 46-yard line. A pass interference penalty and a 13-yard reception by Parker Wroble on a tipped pass, set up Lee-Parker’s 17-yard touchdown run, as Harris gave him the ball on a zone read to the right side.
Wroble joined the scoring brigade on Mill Creek’s next possession when he caught a hitch from junior quarterback M.J. Patterson along the far sideline, made a defender miss and then raced 60-yards to the end zone, flashing the “peace” sign as he crossed the goal line, to make it 35-0.
Moss spoiled the Mill Creek shut out early in the fourth quarter, when he made up for his first quarter fumble with a brilliant 71-yard touchdown run, bouncing outside to the right before cutting across the field and outracing the Eagles’ secondary into the end zone.
Mill Creek 7 14 14 3 38
East Coweta 0 0 0 6 6
MC – Joshua Battle 50 run (Brock Pellegrino kick)
MC – Romeo Pelham 32 pass from Thurman Harris (Pellegrino kick)
MC – Battle 1 run (Pellegrino kick)
MC – Chancellor Lee-Parker 17 run (Pellegrino kick)
MC – Parker Wroble 60 pass from M.J. Patterson (Pellegrino kick)
EC – Amaryion Moss 71 run (pass failed)
MC – Pellegrino 42 fg