Mill Creek 59, Peachtree Ridge 20

Mill Creek defensive back Caleb Downs, left, and running back Cam Robinson celebrates during the closing minutes of their 70-35 win against Carrollton in the GHSA Class 7A finals, at Center Parc Stadium, Saturday, December 10, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Mill Creek defensive back Caleb Downs, left, and running back Cam Robinson celebrates during the closing minutes of their 70-35 win against Carrollton in the GHSA Class 7A finals, at Center Parc Stadium, Saturday, December 10, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Hoschton — No one was going to stop Mill Creek senior running back Cam Robinson from becoming his school’s all-time rushing leader — especially not Peachtree Ridge’s defense.

Robinson surpassed Jacorey Lewis in career rushing yards on his way to a 161-yard, two-touchdown performance Friday as the Hawks (12-0) routed the Lions 59-20 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Class 7A playoffs.

Lewis ran for 3,428 yards in his Mill Creek career, and Robinson crossed that milestone in the first half. Robinson now holds 3,534 yards for his career.

“I didn’t know I was close to the record until Game 6 when (head coach Josh Lovelady) started putting it in my ear,” Robinson said. “I couldn’t have done this without my offensive line, so I want to thank them. We knew tonight if we could handle them up front, we were going to win this game, and that’s what we did from the start.”

Mill Creek ran less than 50 plays on offense against the Lions (10-2), but that was more than enough. The Hawks used explosive plays, several of which were provided by Robinson, to go with a blocked punt that resulted in a touchdown and an interception returned for a touchdown.

“We challenge our kids to score in all three phases,” Lovelady said. “Defense, they did a great job there. Special teams were huge to end the half there, and then offensively we had explosive plays.”

The Mill Creek defense spent the majority of the game on the field trying to shut down the air-raid offense of the Lions. Peachtree Ridge threw the ball on its first 15 plays and ran it fewer than 15 times throughout the game.

Lions sophomore quarterback Darnell Kelly completed 27 of his 56 pass attempts for 292 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

“(Peachtree Ridge) put us in a pickle,” Lovelady said. “They went empty almost the whole night. I was really pleased with how well our kids were conditioned. We knew they were going to catch a few balls, so we didn’t get down because they caught a few balls. Our kids responded to it and made adjustments.”

Peachtree Ridge moved the ball just enough to be efficient but struggled to score, while the Hawks scored two touchdowns on its first four plays of the game.

The Lions drove down the field on their opening drive before stalling and turning the ball over on downs. On the third play of Mill Creek’s first drive, Robison broke loose for a 34-yard touchdown run. On the Hawks’ next possession, receiver Trajen Greco took a jet sweep 35 yards for another score.

In the second quarter, Robinson barreled his way for a 16-yard touchdown to put the Hawks up 21-0.

Mill Creek then used field position to its advantage and had Peachtree Ridge punting deep in its own territory most of the night. It almost seemed inevitable when Donovan Walters ran free to block a Lions’ punt inside their 20-yard line. The ball bounced into the end zone, and Trey Walker recovered it for a Mill Creek touchdown.

Just minutes later, Hawks linebacker Luke Metz intercepted Kelly and took it back the other way for a score, giving Mill Creek a 35-0 lead at halftime.

Robinson and Mill Creek have more work to do as the defending Class 7A champions host Camden County next Friday in the quarterfinals.

PR|0|0|13|7|--|20

MC|14|21|24|0|--|59

FIRST QUARTER

MC — Cam Robinson 34 run (Brady Lane kick)

MC — Trajen Greco 35 run (Lane kick)

SECOND QUARTER

MC — Robinson 16 run (Lane kick)

MC — Trey Walker blocked punt recovery in the end zone (Lane kick)

MC — Luke Metz 27 yard interception return (Lane kick)

THIRD QUARTER

PR — Sedric Addison 3 run (kick blocked)

MC — Lane 22 field goal

MC — Daniel Smith 20 run (Lane kick)

MC — Smith 57 run (Lane kick)

PR — Addison 11 pass from Lamar White (Alex Hanson kick)

MC — Malachi Miller 13 run (Carter Jackson kick)

FOURTH QUARTER

PR — Langston Abernathy 25 pass from Darnell Kelly