Chattahoochee beats Starr's Mill 24-0 for AAAA title

Chattahoochee entered the Class AAAA championship game with an offense that was averaging 41 points. It left with the best defensive effort of its 15-0 season and the school’s first state title.

Tim Byerly rushed for 108  yards and a touchdown on 26 carries and was 7-of-12 passing for 112 yards Friday night as Chattahoochee defeated Starr’s Mill 24-0 at the Georgia Dome.

Starr’s Mill (14-1) had not been held to fewer than 20 points this season but managed only nine first downs and 195 total yards. Nose man Barron Dixon, an SEC recruit, had seven tackles, three for losses, including a sack.

Starr’s Mill’s Zach Laskey, who entered the game with 1,464 yards rushing, was held to 19 yards on 10 carries.

Chattahoochee (15-0) became the first North Fulton team since Roswell in 2006 to win a state title and Roswell in 1968 to complete an unbeaten, untied season.

Chattahoochee took full control on the opening drive of the second half, going 80 yards on 11 plays. Chase Nelson scored on a 1-yard run with 7:28 left in the third quarter for a 17-0 lead. The play was a sack escape on third-and-12 by Byerly, who threw 27 yards to Kane Whitehurst (four catches, 83 yards) to the Starr’s Mill 7.

Whitehurst scored Chattahoochee’s final touchdown on a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Chattahoochee led 10-0 at halftime, scoring on a 99-yard drive and a record-tying field goal.

Ammon Lakip’s 50-yard kick with 8:27 left in the first quarter matched the longest in a state championship game. Greg Johnson (Parkview, 2001) and Justin Moore (Marist, 2008) also hit from that distance.

Later in the quarter, Starr’s Mill punter Matt Hubbard dribbled a 38-yarder out of bounds at the 1-yard line, but Chattahoochee scored in 14 plays.

Byerly, who finished unofficially with 1,504 yards rushing and 2,665 yards passing on the season, made two critical passes to sustain it.

On a third-and-16, he threw 21 yards to Whitehurst to the Starr’s Mill 49. On a third-and-5, he escaped what looked like a sure sack and threw a 15-yarder to Jake Thelen to the Starr’s Mill 29. Byerly scored on a 3-yard run, his 21st touchdown of the season.

The shutout was the first for Chattahoochee's defense this season.