Nine forced turnovers by the Chamblee defense helped propel the Bulldogs to a 21-0 victory over the Liberty County Panthers on Friday night at North DeKalb Stadium.
The win assures Coach Scott Schwarzer’s Bulldogs (4-1) of a winning record for the first time since going 6-4 in 2013 under Allen Johnson.
Chamblee took the opening kickoff and drove 63 yards in 12 plays to get the only points it would need thanks to an opportunistic defense. Facing a fourth and five at its own 42 the Bulldogs reached into the bag of tricks as up back Fabian Campbell took the snap on the punt and tossed a strike over the middle to Will Mepham for a 26-yard gain to keep the drive alive.
A third and goal situation at the four with under eight minutes left in the first quarter had the Bulldogs go to the air with Finn Allers rolling right and hitting Dietrich Shugars just inside the goal line for the touchdown. Will Burton tacked on the PAT to make it 7-0 Bulldogs with 7:26 left in the opening frame.
Linebacker Ja’Cari Waller recovered a Panther’s fumble at the Chamblee 18 to stop an answering drive by Liberty County in the first of the nine turnovers.
Shugars pinned Liberty County at its own eight as the Chamblee drive stalled at their own 45. The defense held and the Bulldogs took over on the Liberty County 43. Three plays later running back Brayson Seaborne got outside and raced down the left sideline 36 yards for a touchdown. Burton was good again on the PAT to make it 14-0 for Chamblee with 10:27 left in the half.
Down 14-0 and the clocking ticking down under a minute to play in the first half Liberty decided to go for it on a fourth and 12 at its own 40. Quarterback Chris Dennis threw across the middle and Meon McLeod appeared to poach the pass from a teammate and raced 41 yards to the Chamblee 19.
Two plays later Jameel Avery stepped in front of a Dennis pass inside the Bulldogs 10 to kill the threat with 15 seconds left in the first half.
Liberty County opened the second half with the football and had to punt. Chamblee could not move the ball but Shugars once again pinned the Panthers deep in their side of the field at the 13. Two plays later Jason Lynch intercepted Dennis at the 14 to start a string of seven consecutive Panthers possession with a turnover.
Allers got his number called twice as the Bulldogs drove to go up 21-0, He went under center on fourth and one at the Panthers’ five for a first down and then on third and goal at the one punching it in for the touchdown. Burton added the PAT and the Bulldogs were up three scores with 3:08 left in the third quarter.
Neither team could get much going from that point especially Liberty County as Chamblee ended the quarter with three consecutive turnovers. Jordan Townsend got a fumble recovery on the next Panthers’ possession followed by Jacob Bedsole’s fumble recovery and the first of two interceptions by Shugars.
Liberty County got the football back right before the end of the third quarter by getting a fumble recovery of their own. Quarterback CJ Garrett then led the Panthers on a drive towards the Chamblee end zone. He completed passes of 21 and 15 yards to McLeod and 11 yards to James Summersett to move Liberty to the Bulldog two-yard line.
A second and two call for a pass into the end zone ended badly for Liberty as Shugars picked off his second pass of the night, this one in the end zone, to end the scoring threat.
Shugars got his third interception of the night on Liberty’s next possession and Sydik Ross came up with an interception to make it seven possession in a row for the Bulldog defense to force a turnover.
Finn Allers threw for 57 yards and a touchdown and ran for another to lead the Bulldogs offense. Brayson Seaborne ran for 80 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Will Mepham caught three passes for 69 yards in the game. Chamblee’s defense held Liberty County to 205 yards of offense.
Miller Grove 13, Mays 7
The Miller Grove Wolverines keep playing tough defense as they cause three turnovers and hold Mays to a single touchdown in a come-from-behind 13-7 win at Lakewood on Friday night.
Trailing 7-6 in the fourth quarter the Wolverines marched the ball down the field on the legs of Stephen Bacon and Jarvis Stewart (they both rushed for over 100 yards in win over Salem last week). Stewart finished off the drive with a five-yard run for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:40 to play.
The defense held Mays to secure the win. Mays had scored first in the game following an 0-0 deadlock at the half, but Daveon Williams returned a kickoff for a touchdown to close the gap to 7-6. Williams also contributed one of the turnovers with a pass interception in the game.
Miller Grove (3-3, 2-2) moved back into the playoff picture with games against No. 1 ranked Marist next week and Hapeville Charter to end the regular season.
Marist 23, Stephenson 0
The No. 1 ranked Marist War Eagles knocked off No. 4 ranked Stephenson 23-0 to take the lead in Region 6-4A play. Marist improved to 6-0, 3-0 in the region while Stephenson fell to 4-1, 3-1.
Hapeville Charter 27, Arabia Mountain 14
Hapeville Charter knocked of the Arabia Mountain Rams (2-4, 2-3) 27-14 to climb the playoff spot ladder on Friday night at Banneker.
Dunwoody got its first win of the season with a 24-15 win over Berkmar in Region 7-7A play at Berkmar on Friday night.
Davis Ledoyen passed for 320 yards and a touchdown through the air and rushed for another touchdown to help lead the Wildcats in the win. Sam Cole was on the receiving of 10 of the passes for 137 yards and the touchdown and Jackson Moore had one catch for 63 yards to set up another score.
Dunwoody’s Cal Wichman (15 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown) saved the night for the Wildcats (1-5, 1-3) as he chased down a Berkmar defender who intercepted a pass and looked to be heading for the end zone with Dunwoody leading 17-15.
The tackle led to Dunwoody holding on defense which was led by Cevon Mitchell who flew around the field for the Wildcats for 11 total tackles (6 solo, 5 assists) including one for a loss. Grant Jones and J Norris Neel both contributed seven tackles for the Wildcat defense.
The Tucker Tigers (3-2, 2-1) kept a first round playoff host role in sight by thrashing Morrow 42-6 on Friday night.
DCSD FOOTBALL SCHEDULE – WEEK 6
South Atlanta (4-3, 4-0) vs. McNair (0-5, 0-5), 7:00 pm (Cancelled)
Cedar Grove (5-0, 4-0) 24, Westminster (4-3, 2-3) 10
Lithonia (2-4, 2-3) 30, Stone Mountain (1-5, 0-5) 21
Pace Academy (5-2, 4-1) 42, Towers (1-4, 1-4) 6
St. Pius X (6-1, 4-0) 36, M.L. King (1-5, 1-3) 6
Douglass (0-7, 0-5) vs. Redan (2-3, 0-3), 5:15 pm (Cancelled)
Lovett (6-2, 6-1) 35, Columbia (3-2, 3-2) 8
NORTH DEKALB STADIUM
Chamblee (4-1) 21, Liberty Co. (1-3-1) 0
Hapeville Charter (3-3, 3-1) 27, Arabia Mountain (2-4, 2-3) 14
Dunwoody (1-5, 1-3) 24, Berkmar (1-7, 0-5) 15
Miller Grove (3-3, 2-2) 13, Mays (3-6, 1-4) 7
Marist (6-0, 4-0) 23, Stephenson (4-1, 3-1) 0
Tucker (3-2, 2-1) 42, Morrow (1-5, 0-3) 6
Washington (6-2) 36, Lakeside (0-6)
OPEN: Cross Keys (1-2) Redan (2-3, 0-3), SW DeKalb (3-2, 3-1),
SEASONS OVER: Clarkston (0-0), Druid Hills (0-3), McNair (0-5)