The offseason and preparation led to Hicks’ big night, the quarterback said.
“It’s all the work we put in the offseason and all the way through the summer,” Hicks said. “Stepping into this starter role was big shoes to fill from last year, and I prepared my body in the weight room and my mind by watching film.”
Creekview coach spoke on the special connection between Hicks and Summers.
“They’ve grown up playing together since they were in second grade, and you can tell it,” Williams said. “He trusts Tristan with everything and throws it only where Tristan can go get it. I am so proud of Mason Hicks. He missed last year with injury, but he’s the ultimate leader and the guy you want leading your football team.”
Creekview’s defense made a pivotal stop on fourth-and-1 at the 22-yard line with 4:22 remaining to prevent Tylan Johnson from picking up the first down. Johns Creek had a chance to get the ball back, but Hicks and running back Tyler Stevens iced the game on a 7- and 10-yard runs. Stevens finished with 74 yards on 19 carries.
“This team never wavers,” Williams said. “They believe in each other so much and have worked so hard since December and January of last year. You can see that in games like this, the guts and determination they have.”
Johns Creek had the game within reach but had too many mistakes. Penalties and turnovers eluded them from victory. Johns Creek had four turnovers, three lost fumbles, and one interception.
Two other pivotal plays that hurt Johns Creek were a 47-yard reception that resulted in a touchback because of a fumble and a muffed punt that negated great field position right before the half.
Durham completed 14 of 22 passes for 289 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Thompson caught five passes for 134 yards and one touchdown. Johnson added two touchdowns (one receiving and one rushing).
Johns Creek, now the No. 4 seed from the region, will play at sixth-ranked Rome next week. Creekview moved up to the No. 3 seed and will play at seventh-ranked Carrollton. Riverwood, which lost only once - to Johns Creek - is the region champion with Cambridge as the No. 2 seed.
Johns Creek 14-0-0-6 - 20
Creekview 7-6-8-7 - 28
C - Tyler Stevens 13 pass from Mason Hicks (Lucas Hubert kick)
JC - Josh Thompson 53 pass from Kyle Durham (McRae Ball kick)
JC - Tylan Johnson 23 pass from Durham (Ball kick)
C - A.J. Vaccaro 33 pass from Hicks (pass failed)
C - Tristan Summers 26 pass from Hicks (pass good)
JC - Johnson 5 run (kick failed)
C - Summers 35 pass from Hicks (Hubert kick)