Fullback Nick Toney paves the way for another big Delvin Weems run against Newnan.
(Photo by Michael Clifton / www.kombatkam
A battle with one of the best teams in the country, Plant from Tampa, Florida, left Sandy Creek with a somewhat disappointing 27-27 tie in game one. With that in mind, the Patriots were ready Friday night to put a one on the left side of their record with a home game against the talented but ultimately overmatched Newnan Cougars. Newnan managed a few big plays on offense and ended up scoring 28 points, but Sandy Creek got their offense rolling and piled up 55 of their ownfor a convincing win.
It's hard to pick a real weakness on a team like Sandy Creek, but if there's one reason to see them play week and and week out, it's the embarrassment of riches they have at the offensive skill positions. Senior quarterback Cole Garvin completed 20 of 23 passes in this game and it didn't particularly matter who he was throwing to, they were going to catch it and make a play. Nine different Patriots had a reception in the game and five players had three or more. Clemson commit Demarre Kitt is the star of a talented receiving squad, and he racked up 60 yards including a 40 yard touchdown bomb that came late in the first quarter. As a team, the Patriots rolled up 283 yards through the air to complement a similarly dominant rushing attack that picked up 245 yards.
The Patriots ground attack is powered by a pair of junior backs, Delvin Weems and Eric Swinney, who combined for 30 attempts for 229 yards and five touchdowns. Newnan actually showed some stout run defense at times in this game, but the talent of these two athletes broke through by the end.
Sandy Creek didn't look as polished as usual in the early going of the game, particularly with penalties. Both teams were a little sloppy with drawing flags in the first half, and the Patriots had to overcome a number of holding calls. Despite those hiccups, the Patriots stacked up a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Swinney punched in the first score of the game from inches out after nine yard pass to Nick Toney left him just short of the goal line. The drive was highlighted by a third down conversion where Swinney busted free for 29 yards, or 26 more than he needed for the first down.
Newnan came back and pushed it into Patriot territory, converting on a fourth and seven to get a fresh set of downs around Sandy Creek's 20 yard line. Despite the threat, Sandy Creek managed to hold the Cougars to a 33 yard field goal attempt that missed wide.
A penalty after the change of possession left Sandy Creek with a first and 21. Despite the tough start, the team calmly drove across midfield and, from forty yards out, Garvin dropped a perfect pass into the arms of Kitt, who spun around the only defender between him and the goal line to give the Patriots a 14-0 early lead as the first quarter wound down.
Newnan wasted no time striking back, using a misdirection play to spring a back loose for a 73 yard touchdown that would be one of several long plays the Cougars would get on the night.
Sandy Creek came right back, overcoming a number of penalties again to make it 21-7 after a great throw and catch to Jeremiah Relaford followed by an all too easy 38 yard touchdown run up the gut from Swinney.
Senior Gabriel Arnold grabbed an interception on the ensuing possession thanks to great pressure by defensive lineman Broderick Allen that forced Newnan's quarterback to sail his pass. Sandy Creek couldn't take advantage, though, and would punt the ball away after a failed third down conversion.
Newnan came back after the punt with a quick score, busting a run 59 yards up the middle to make it 21-14 and keep the game within reach.
Sandy Creek followed with their best few minutes of play to that point. Sophomore Korey Banks would have scored on the kickoff return if not for a nice tackle around midfield by Newnan's kicker. The Patriots then methodically rolled down the field on a drive highlighted by Swinney shaking a cornerback out of his shoes on a 22 yard run. Banks finished what he started with a ten yard touchdown reception as the Patriots took a 28-14 lead with five minutes left in the first half.
Sandy Creek's defense then decided to get in on the scoring fun. Defensive lineman Chris Williams brought great pressure, tipping a pass straight up. Trent Sellers took advantage, snatching the ball out of the air and trotting in for a touchdown.
While Newnan would continue to scrap, the score started to get out of hand at that point. Delvin Weems added another score before halftime, making it 42-14 before Newnan managed a 50 yard score to narrow it slightly to 42-21 before the half.
The Cougars would manage to take a tipped pass all the way back for a score in the second half, but 28 points would be as much as they could muster against the Patriots' 55.
Sandy Creek is now 1-0-1 and will be traveling to face 1-1 East Coweta High School this Friday night.