rain.png
Sunday June 20th, 2021 3:56PM

Big 2nd half nets Bears' 1st-ever postseason win

By AccessWDUN Staff

FLOWERY BRANCH — The question on everyone’s mind was how would Region 7-3A champion Cherokee Bluff, making its first-ever postseason appearance, respond after its rough ending to what had been a near-perfect regular season.

Just fine, thank you very much.

The Bears shook off a crazy first half and used its stifling defense to eventually pull away for a 35-7 win over Region 6-3A No. 4 seed LaFayette on Friday night in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

It was their first-ever playoff win in program history and went a long way to quiet some of the doubters who wondered if they were ready to handle the pressure of the playoffs.

“We just tried to put last week behind us and I thought the kids did a good job of playing the next play,” Bears coach Tommy Jones said in an interview on the Hardy Chevrolet Scoreboard Show after the game.

“The defense played outstanding all night. We finally were able to make some plays in the second half. It was a big milestone for the program but we’re ready to move on to next week.”

For the first 24 minutes, however, it was having the feel of an upset in the making.

The Ramblers, who were in the playoffs for the first time since 1993 and had not won a playoff game since 1969, took the early lead when Jaylen Ramsey connected with Junior Barber for a 43-yard TD pass to cap their opening drive for a 7-0 lead.

The Bears were forced to punt on their opening possession but stopped LaFayette on a 4th-and-1 at their own 21 on its next possession. Two plays later Bluff appeared to tie the game on a 24-yard touchdown run from Jamir Tolbert. But it was called back for holding. The Bears once again appeared to tie the game, this time on a Sebastian Irons TD pass to Shad Dabney. But that too was waved off for an illegal formation call. Then the drive stalled completely when the Bears dropped a touchdown pass on fourth down.

“We were sloppy there for a while,” Jones said. “But the kids never quit and just kept playing. I was proud of their effort.”

Eventually, the Bears' offense would get untracked. They drove 90 yards, getting a 12-yard touchdown run from Jayquan Smith with just 1:43 left in the half to tie the game. But the key play was a 31-yard pass from Irons to Dabney on a 3rd-and-10 from their own 10 to keep the drive alive.

It went to the half that way and the Bears came out growling in the third quarter.

Bluff took the lead for good when Smith scored on a perfectly-timed 32-yard screen pass to finish off their opening drive of the third quarter for a 14-7 lead. After trading punts, they extended the lead to 21-7 on a 76-yard bomb from Irons to Eric Gohman with 3:28 left in the third.

Midway through the fourth quarter Bluff’s Tolbert picked off a LaFayette pass and Smith capped the short drive with a 5-yard scoring run. The defense sealed it when Eli Little recorded a scoop-and-score for the final score.

Now the Bears (10-1) will get ready to play host to Carver-Atlanta in next week's second round. Carver dispatched Hart County 32-21 in its first-round matchup.

“We don’t know much about Carver but we’ll get back to work on Monday and get a look at them on film,” Jones said.

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: High school football, Cherokee Bluff football
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Branch rolls into 2nd round with rout of Luella
Flowery Branch wasted little time in jumping on Luella. In fact, it took just 7 seconds for the Falcons to take a quick lead that would eventually turn into a 40-7 victory in the two teams Class 4A first round playoff game at Falcons Field Saturday night...
8:53PM ( 7 hours ago )
Dragons rout Mt. Zion to advance in 4A
The Jefferson defense held Mt. Zion to just 17 total yards, and recorded a safety, to spark the Dragons to a 65-0 destruction of the Bulldogs at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs....
5:23PM ( 10 hours ago )
IronDawgs Glenn, Tripp place first in weightlifting competition
Georgia IronDawg teammates and Oakwood's Russ Tripp and R. Garry Glenn powered their way to a first-place finish in the Southern Powerlifting Federation's Iron Turkey Bash at Body by George.
11:04AM ( 16 hours ago )
Sports
1st round playoff wrap: Bluff gets 1st-ever postseason win; NHall, Buford, Commerce roll; GHS falls
Region 7-3A made its bid Friday night as Class 3A's best after winning three of its four matchups against Region 5-3A in the first round of the playoffs...
10:38PM ( 1 day ago )
ICYMI: 1st round previews: Offense, unfamiliarity could drive an exciting opening round; Sat previews
For those not expecting the high school football season to actually make it this far, we welcome you to the first round of the Georgia High School Association playoffs...
10:01AM ( 1 day ago )
Game of the Week: Back to the basics mentality has Trojans in the playoffs
While going back to the basics includes working on fundamentals, to North Hall coach David Bishop, it means more than that.
7:01AM ( 1 day ago )
High School Sports
Bluff, North Hall, GHS highlight 1st round on Jacobs Media
To just get this far has been a monumental achievement for high school football teams. Now, the first round of the Georgia High School Association is actually upon us, and as usual, Jacobs Media's three radio stations and live streaming will be right alongside to give fans three big playoff games in the first round...
9:28AM ( 4 days ago )
GHSA: All Class 2A, 4A 1st round games moved to Saturday
Whether it has become more heightened because of the COVID-19 outbreak or just because resources are limited, the Georgia High School Association on Monday issued a release to all its member schools that will have ramifications for years to come...
7:06AM ( 4 days ago )
FGN Rewind: Buford wins Region 8-6A; Gainesville, North Hall make playoffs
Buford beat Dacula to win the Region 8-6A title to highlight Week 12 action.
4:30PM ( 5 days ago )
Friday Game Night
2020 Northeast Georgia region standings
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:30AM ( 1 month from now )
Branch rolls into 2nd round with rout of Luella
Flowery Branch wasted little time in jumping on Luella. In fact, it took just 7 seconds for the Falcons to take a quick lead that would eventually turn into a 40-7 victory in the two teams Class 4A first round playoff game at Falcons Field Saturday night...
By AccessWDUN Staff
8:53PM ( 7 hours ago )
Dragons rout Mt. Zion to advance in 4A
The Jefferson defense held Mt. Zion to just 17 total yards, and recorded a safety, to spark the Dragons to a 65-0 destruction of the Bulldogs at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs....
By AccessWDUN Staff
5:23PM ( 10 hours ago )
Big first half propels Trojans to 36-28 win over North Murray
North Hall coach David Bishop was emotional after his team’s 36-28 win over North Murray in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs at Lynn Cottrell Stadium on Friday.
1:09AM ( 1 day ago )
Tigers rout Manchester to move into Sweet 16
Commerce made sure quickly it would not be anyone’s upset victim Friday night in the opening round of the Class A Public playoffs...
By AccessWDUN Staff
12:13AM ( 1 day ago )