The biggest news in Class 5A on Friday had nothing to do with the ranked teams. It involved Cross Keys, which stopped a 30-game losing streak.
The Indians had not won a game since Sept. 30, 2016, but Friday night defeated Notre Dame Academy 28-7 at Adams Stadium.
“This group of players has worked so hard and played a great game,” second-year Cross Keys coach John Brown said. “They’ve really kept it together through out ups and downs of practice this summer and then having to restart.”
Cross Keys was led by Roy Huff, who carried 23 times for 161 yards and three touchdowns. Isidro Santillano ran it 12 times for 127 yards and one touchdown. Cross Keys only tried one pass – which was incomplete – and ran 50 times for 337 yards. The Indians got an interception and a fumble recovery from Jahir Molina.
Cross Keys had not won a season opener since 2009, when it defeated North Springs.
Cartersville’s winning streak ends
The No. 3-ranked Purple Hurricanes dropped a 14-12 decision to unbeaten Cherokee to end its streak of 62 consecutive regular-season wins.
Cherokee appeared to have the game put away when Keith Adams scored with 2:05 left and the Warriors made a two-point conversion. But Cartersville’s Devonte Ross returned the kickoff for a 95-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 14-12.
Cartersville forced a punt and had the ball on the Cherokee 35 and eventually converted a fourth-and-28 desperation pass that was caught, but fumbled and recovered by Cherokee.
In other games involving top 10 teams:
No. 1 Warner Robins rolls along: The Demons forced mistakes in the first half, scoring on a fumble recovery, an interception return and a bad snap on a punt to take a 27-0 halftime lead en route to a 44-10 victory over Houston County. Quarterback Jalen Addie scored on an 84-yard run.
Big finish pushes No. 3 Ware County: The Gators trailed 23-14 with 8:28 left in the third quarter but scored three unanswered touchdowns to beat Bainbridge 35-23. Tommy Castellanos threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Ray Ray Kennedy, a 24-yarder to James Daniels and a 14-yarder to Brandon Mills that put Ware Cunty ahead to stay. Castellanos scored from 21 yards on a run to put the game away. Cah’zer McKoy scored on a 2-yard run for Ware County.
No. 5 Veterans takes care of Perry: The Warhawks turned back the upset bid of rival Perry with a pair of third quarter touchdown passes in a 24-4 victory.
Calhoun knocks off Woodstock: The No. 6-ranked Yellow Jackets got three touchdown passes from Christian Lewis in a 35-14 win. Jerrian Hames scored on a pair of touchdown runs. The Calhoun defense forced four turnovers.
Westminster upsets No. 7 St. Pius: The Golden Lions made a late charge but came up short. Westminster won 27-24 on a late field goal by Alex Bacchetta. Mason Benefield scored on a pair of runs and Ryan Kirschner kicked a 50-yard field goal.
No 8 Coffee overwhelms Glynn: Quarterback A.J. Wilkerson threw two touchdown passes to K.J. Davis and ran for another score to lead the Trojans. Maurice Turner and A.J. Franklin also scored on runs.
A signature win for No. 9 Ola: The Mustangs recorded a 20-6 over reigning region champion Dutchtown, their best win of the year. Junior quarterback Jake Hall ran for two touchdowns and kicker Chase Folser nailed a pair of field goals (48 and 23 yards) for Ola.
No. 10 Harris County drops first game: Quarterback Cooper Corey threw three touchdown passes but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Tigers from falling to unbeaten Newnan. Corey connected with Marcus Dumas for 60 yards, K.D. Hutchinson for 14 and John Austin Cochran from 22. The turning point came when Harris County gambled and failed on fourth down midway in the third quarter, which set up Newnan’s go-ahead touchdown.
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com