Roswell 59, Lanier 27

Hornets, in quarterfinals 3rd straight year, to host Marist next week

After a sound 59-27 win over the Lanier Longhorns on Friday in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs, the Roswell Hornets are in the quarterfinals for a third consecutive year.

The No. 8 Hornets (11-1), a No. 1 seed from Region 7, will host No. 7 Marist, the No. 1 seed from Region 4. The Hornets gets home field advantage because the GHSA’s universal coin toss for the quarterfinals determined teams on the top half of the bracket will host in the event equal seeds meet.

Hornets senior receiver Dylan Williams, committed to Marshall, had 178 yards and three touchdowns on eight catches. On his final touchdown catch, which went for 42 yards, he cut between two Longhorns defenders, causing them to run into each other, as he waltzed into the end zone unscathed.

That made it 45-14 with 3:04 left in the third quarter.

“We are locked in and ready to take it a step further,” Williams said. “Every round, we’re trying to get better. Whether it’s Marist or someone else, we feel that we’re the only team that can stop us, or get in our way. If we play our game, I feel like we can beat anyone in the state.”

The Hornets scored on the game’s opening possession, then appeared to take a two touchdown lead midway through the first quarter, but a 36-yard touchdown from KJ Smith to Williams was called back on an ineligible receiver penalty. Three plays later, Lanier got an interception.

Ten plays later, the Longhorns scored on a 6-yard pass from Preston Ratliff to Jackson Lewis, tying the game at 7 with 42 seconds left in the first. The Longhorns then recovered the ensuing onside kick, a line-drive that ricocheted off a Roswell special teams player and bounced to Lanier.

Nothing came of Lanier’s drive, however, and they punted from their own 43. From there, any momentum the Longhorns had seemed to vanish for good. Roswell would score on its next possession, the start of a 24-0 run to close the half.

Smith finished 12 of 17 passing for 262 yards and three touchdowns to one interception. Nykahi Davenport had 10 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns.

The Longhorns failed to make it a game in the second half, and the fourth quarter featured a running clock. They got two late touchdowns after both teams removed their starters.

The Longhorns, a No. 2 seed from Region 8, finish 9-3 and advanced for the first time since 2019.

Lanier 7 0 7 13 — 27

Roswell 7 24 14 14 — 59

R — Nykahi Davenport 3 run (Brett Gonda kick)

L — Jackson Lewis 6 pass from Preston Ratliff (Roger Bolivar kick)

R — Davenport 11 run (Gonda kick)

R — Dylan Williams 7 pass from KJ Smith (Gonda kick)

R — Williams 20 pass from Smith (Gonda kick)

R — Gonda 35 FG

R — Smith 10 run (Gonda kick)

L — Lewis 11 pass from Ratliff (Bolivar kick)

R — Williams 42 pass from Smith (Gonda kick)

R — Kaiden Perry 3 run (Gonda kick)

L — Ben Vanden Bos (Bolivar kick)

R — Jake Hardnock 8 pass from Brandon Slocum (Gonda kick)

L — Jymir Williams 19 run (Bolivar kick)

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