Monday November 28th, 2022 8:19PM

Football: Quick start sends Titans past Chestatee in 8-4A

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
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GAINESVILLE — As the kids today like to say these days: “That was disappointing.”

In a game many thought was on an upset watch, Chestatee came out flat, North Oconee took advantage early, and the Titans rolled past the War Eagles 48-20 in Region 8-4A action at Lynn Cottrell Complex Friday night.

Chestatee had been one of the surprise feel-good stories in the first half of the season. The War Eagles (2-3, 0-1 Region 8-4A) snapped a long losing streak and were coming off a heartbreaking, but inspired, loss to North Hall on a final-play field goal two weeks ago.

It was hard for Chestatee coach Shaun Conley to hide his disappointment as well.

“That is a good football team we played. They have weapons all over the field. They’re physical,” Conley said. “But at the same time, we didn’t play like we have been playing the first half of the season. We didn’t help ourselves at all. It was disappointing for sure.”

North Oconee (3-3, 2-0 Region 8-4A) used its offense and defense to stun the War Eagles with 14 quick points in the opening minutes.

Carson Rollins connected with Khalil Barnes on a 43-yard crossing pattern on 3rd-and-9 on just the fourth play of the game after opening the game with a 32-yard pass from Rollins to Brooks Thompson. The Titans' defense then stuffed Chestatee on a quick 3-and-out and Kent Moon broke off a 33-yard touchdown run on the next play.

“(North Oconee) prepared for us just like we prepared for them,” Conley said. “The quick start didn’t bother us that much because we’ve been down before. But we never really answered in the first half like I was hoping we would.”

After forcing another quick Chestatee punt, North Oconee added on as Barnes capped a 9-play drive with a 6-yard touchdown run for a 21-0 lead just over eight minutes into the game.

The War Eagles finally looked to have stopped the Titans at the Chestatee 39. But instead of punting, North Oconee caught the War Eagles on a 39-screen pass to Barnes for another touchdown and a 28-0 lead.

Luke Bornhorst was then picked off on the next play and Dominic Elder capped off a short drive with a 6-yard touchdown run for a 35-0 lead early in the second quarter.

The War Eagles finally got on the board midway through the second quarter. After Mattox Miller picked off a Rollins pass, Chestatee engineered a 9-play drive, with Bornhorst finding Wyatt Goode on a 14-yard TD pass as Goode broke a tackle at the 10 and sprinted into the end zone to cut the lead to 35-7.

But North Oconee answered right back as Elder sprinted 70 yards on the first play of the next drive and Rodrick Finch scored two plays later for a 41-7 lead.

North Oconee increased its lead to 48-7 with a 1-yard scoring run from Elder on their first possession of the second half.

Chestatee cut it to 48-13 on its next drive as Bornhorst scored on a 9-yard run two plays after connecting with Hunter Fouche on a 77-yard pass to the Titans 10.

On their next possession, Drew Knickel scored on a 7-yd TD pass from Bornhorst for the War Eagles that was set up by a 46-yard run from Elijah Pruitt to the Titans 11.

“I thought we did some good things in the second half,” Conley said. “This isn’t the end of the season, it’s just one game. We just need to get back to doing what we do, and have done, until tonight.”

After starting 1-for-8, Bornhorst finished 11-for-25 for 142 yards and 2 TD passes.

Rollins did not play in the second half but was a perfect 10-for-10 for 166 yards and 2 TD passing in the first half. Elder finished with 132 yards, 124 in the first half, and scored twice. Barnes had 5 catches for 102 yards and 2 TDs for the Titans.

N. Oconee....21.....20.....7....0 -- 48
Chestatee......0........7....6....7 -- 20

First Quarter
N -- Barnes 34 pass from Rollins (Gaines kick) 7-0, 9:33
N -- Moon 33 run (Gaines kick) 14-0, 8:11
N -- Barnes 6 run (Gaines kick) 21-0, 3:45

Second Quarter
N -- Barnes 39 pass from Rollins (Gaines kick) 28-0, 11:50
N -- Elder 6 run  (Gaines kick) 35-0, 9:31
C -- Goode 14 pass from Bornhorst (Reyes kick) 35-7, 5:34
N -- Finch 6 run (kick failed) 41-7, 4:27

Third Quarter
N -- Elder 6 run  (Gaines kick) 48-7, 3:01
C -- Bornhorst 9 run (kick failed) 48-13, 0:32

Fourth Quarter
C -- Knickel 7 pass from Bornhorst (Reyes kick) 48-20, 2:13

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: High school football, Chestatee football
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