OAKWOOD — West Hall ended a long season on a high note with a 31-14 win over Lumpkin County at the Hot Gates of Spartan Field on Friday.
But the season didn't go as they had hoped. The Spartans (4-6, 1-5 Region 7-3A) had playoff aspirations, but a series of costly injuries throughout the Region 7-3A slate dashed any hopes of making the players.
"Happy with how we ended the year, but obviously not what we wanted. We would've loved to be able to play in the playoffs," West Hall coach Krofton Montgomery said. "I'm just glad that these guys had the fight to finish [with] two wins. When some people fold tents, they didn't. They kept fighting."
Despite what their record says, the Spartans turned in one of their best offensive performances on Friday.
Senior quarterback Nick Sturm and running backs Tilil Blackwell and Blake McCray were key in the offensive output. Sturm completed 7 of his 10 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns, with an interception. The two scores went to junior Andrew Malin and senior Preston Smith. Sturm averaged a ridiculous 32.6 yards per completion to receivers.
"Nick is a special kid. He's a four-year starter, and we're gonna really miss him," Montgomery said. "[They] don't come much better than him. He's gonna be successful in whatever he does in life."
Even though he didn't pass the ball that often, he didn't have to. The senior tandem of Blackwell and McCray totaled 117 rushing yards and two touchdowns, both by Blackwell.
Overall, the offense put up 352 yards while keeping the ball away from a dangerous Lumpkin County team (2-8, 1-5 Region 7-3A).
For the Indians, junior quarterback Cooper Scott was the only scorer of the evening. As he was constantly under duress from the Spartans front four, he picked up a lot of yards with his legs. He ran the ball 20 times for 77 yards and the only two touchdowns for Lumpkin County. When he wasn't running for his life, he threw the ball 19 times, completing 10 passes for 60 yards and a pick to senior defensive back Jaden White.
Sophomore Mason Sullens turned in a solid effort for the Indians, rushing for 120 yards on 14 carries. He averaged 8.6 yards per run and kept several drives going as the rest of the Indian offense was almost nonexistent.
A lot of that has to be credited to the West Hall defense as they kept Scott and the offense on their toes. Scott was sacked three times by the menacing Spartan D-line, and they forced an interception to end the first half as the Indians were threatening. They played the "bend-don't-break" defense as they allowed 282 yards of offense, but only 14 points.
"This is a special class for me, this is my fourth year as a head coach, and they've been with me since they were freshmen," Montgomery said about his senior class. "This is a group that means a lot to me, and I'm very very proud for them and just proud of the resolve because they've stayed the course."