Friday February 22nd, 2019 7:44PM

Smith powers Lumpkin past Cherokee Bluff for 1st 7-3A win

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Lumpkin County scored 35 unanswered points to erase an early deficit to Cherokee Bluff en route to a big 42-19 Region 7-3A win Friday night on the road.

Cherokee Bluff led 6-0 and 12-7 in the first half but the Indians, behind Luke Smith, exploded in the second half to eventually pull away for a 42-12 lead.

Big plays were the catalyst for Lumpkin County (3-3, 1-1 Region 7-3A). Ethan Kline had an 80-yard touchdown run, Kyle Amburgey scored on a 85-yard run, and Tucker Kirk added a 30-yard touchdown run during the explosion. Smith scored on runs of 77, 1, and 11 yards as the Indians churned out 435 yards on the ground for the game.

Smith finished with 155 yards, Amburgey had 120 yards, Kline added 87 yards, and Kirk had 73 yards rushing for the Lumpkin County.

The win for the Indians puts them right in the thick of the region playoff race.

“Our goal has been to be in the (playoff) hunt and this was a big win for us,” Lumpkin coach Shane Williamson said. “A big, big win. We have some tough ones to follow but hopefully this will help our confidence.”

Next up for Lumpkin is No. 5 Greater Atlanta Christian and then North Hall in consecutive weeks.

The Bears (0-7, 0-3) will travel to East Hall next week.

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