Class 5A blog: First-round wrapup ... Creekside finds its offense

Credit: For the AJC

Credit: For the AJC

If there were any questions about Creekside’s offense, they were answered by Nyqua Lett’s performance against Coffee on Friday.

The senior completed 10 of 17 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns and ran 15 times for 95 yards to help the No. 5-ranked Seminoles to a 28-18 win over No. 7 Coffee in the most prominent matchup in the first round.

“This is the best quarterback in 5A,” coach Maurice Dixon said. “If you watched this game and think you’ve seen someone better, you’ve got double vision.”

Lett threw touchdown passes to Derrick White, Lorenzo York and Trey Edwards, giving him 19 for the season. But he gave credit to the defense, which has been the hallmark of the team all season.

“I thank the defense,” Lett said. “Without them we’re not doing what we’re doing right now.”

After falling behind 21-0, Coffee was able to claw back into the game and cut the lead to 21-18 on a Brady Skipper touchdown with 9:04 remaining. But Creekside scored the backbreaker with two minutes left when Lett scrambled on play-action to connect with Edwards for a 30-yard touchdown.

Each of the state’s remaining ranked teams won their games, most of them decisively, to set up some excellent second-round games.

No. 1 Cartersville routed Lithonia 51-0 behind a defense that got three interceptions from Kace Adams, two of them going for pick-sixes. Myles Forristall also scooped up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. The Purple Hurricanes (11-0) also got a touchdown pass from Jake Parker to Jacob “Big Play” Ray and running scores from Amari White and Malachi Jeffries.

No. 2 Woodward Academy steamrolled Veterans 48-14 as Auburn commit Damari Alston ran 17 times for 142 yards and four touchdowns.

No. 3 Ware County (10-1) got three touchdown passes and one touchdown run from quarterback Thomas Castellanos and Cartevious Norton ran for two touchdowns in a 42-28 win over Banneker.

No. 4 Warner Robins played without leading rusher Malcolm Brown and still rolled to a 64-20 win over Jonesboro. The Demons (10-1) got four running scores from fleet Fred Perry and added a touchdown pass from Christon Lane to Jay Carter and a run from Lane.

No. 6 Calhoun was sparked by quarterback Christian Lewis, who threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Georgia commit Cole Speer, and 145 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Caden Williams. Speer caught five passes for 85 yards and also intercepted a pass.

No. 8 St. Pius poured on the defense in a 42-9 win over Cass. Jack Tchienchou posted a 52-yard scoop-and-score and Austin Taylor added a 65-yard pick-six. The Golden Lions (10-1) also scored on touchdown runs from Alex Possert, Shug Bentley and Liam Whitlark.

No. 9 Blessed Trinity rolled out its running game and overpowered Southwest DeKalb 41-20 at Hallford Stadium. Justice Haynes picked up 105 yards and scored on runs of 22 and 27 yards and quarterback J.C. French threw for 118 yards and ran for 99 yards for the Titans (7-4). French threw for one touchdown and ran for two others.

No. 10 Whitewater kicker T.J. Hartley booted the deciding field goal in the third quarter and hung on to beat Ola 19-16.

In the other games: Region 6 champion Villa Rica got a pair of touchdowns from Ty McKey and rolled to a 42-14 win over Jackson County. … Lithia Springs upset Apalachee 31-27 when Jai’que Hart threw a touchdown pass in overtime. … Jones County’s John Alan Richter threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns and Drew Jones rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns to help the Greyhounds outlast Griffin 56-42. … Region 8 champion Clarke Central erupted for 29 points in the second quarter and rolled to a 46-6 win over Maynard Jackson. Will Richardson scored two touchdowns to pace the Gladiators, who also got a 65 pick-six from Malachi McNeil. Lucian Anderson, Eli Warrington, and Jadavyion Adkins ran for scores and Cooper Evans kicked a field goal. … Starr’s Mill avenged a regular-season loss to Union Grove with a 34-25 win. Brandon Mathis scored three touchdowns, including the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Greigh Joseph and William Yarbrough also ran for touchdowns for the Panthers. … Harris County used its defense to effectively shorten the field for the offense and rolled to a 56-35 win over Dutchtown. The Tigers turned five turnovers (three fumble recoveries, two interceptions) into 27 points Quarterback Cooper Corey ran for three touchdowns and threw for three touchdowns, connecting with Kobe Askew for two and with K.D. Hutchinson for the other. Hutchinson also returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and Thaddious Askew ran for a score. … Eastside blew a 21-0 lead, then took a 20-point lead on a fourth-quarter 21-yard field goal from Rodney Williams with 4:37 left and hung on to beat Manchester 41-35. Dallas Johnson and Kenai Grier each scored two touchdowns and Williams kicked a pair of field goals.

Second-round matchups: Creekside at St. Pius, Lithia Springs at Whitewater, Warner Robins at Cartersville, Eastside at Jones County, Harris County at Villa Rica, Blessed Trinity at Woodward Academy, Starr’s Mill at Clarke Central, Calhoun at Ware County.