Christian Heritage 13, Whitefield Academy 7
Christian Heritage will likely secure a bye in the first round of next week's Class A-Private playoffs after winning its region-crossover game on the road Friday night over Whitefield Academy, 13-7.
The Lions (9-1, 6-1 in Region 6-A) are currently ranked No. 6 in the GHSA Power Ratings, and the win should likely keep them in the spot or bump them up. The top eight teams will receive the first-round bye.
Friday's game was a tale of two stellar defensive performances.
Christian Heritage had its chances in the first half offensively as Gage Leonard blocked a punt early but couldn't cash it in for a score. Will Brumlow then blocked a field goal to set up good field position for the Lions. Evan Lester got them on the board, scoring on a 4th-and-goal with a 1-yard touchdown run. Christian Thomas found Ethan Smith for the two-point conversion as they took the lead early in the second quarter, 8-0.
Christian Heritage threw an interception in the middle of the second quarter that was returned for a touchdown and held onto the lead going into halftime, 8-7.
Early in the third quarter, Joe Dixon made a 42-yard field goal after Leonard intercepted to extend the Lions' lead, 11-7. Dixon then punted to the 1-yard line and Leonard made a tackle in the end zone for them for a safety and the final score.
The Lions' defense held again and converted several first downs on their final drive to keep the ball the rest of the game to seal the win.
"It was a great game. I can't say enough about our 'Bad Company' defense," Christian Heritage coach Jay Poag said. "They were dominant all night.
"This is a huge win for us -- exciting times for the Lions."
Dalton 61, Osborne 0
Dalton High School senior running back Jahmyr Gibbs finished the regular season with 40 total touchdowns and 2,347 yards on the ground as he led the Catamounts to a win at Osborne Friday night, 61-0.
Dalton (7-3, 5-3 in Region 6-6A) will take the No. 4 seed into next week's playoffs as it finished tied with Sprayberry in region-play, in which Dalton loses the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Gibbs finished Friday with 214 rushing yards on 13 carries and five scores in less than two quarters of play. His only non-rushing touchdown this season came on a 97-yard kickoff return.
Dalton finished with 455 yards of total offense on Friday and had four turnovers on defense. Other scores came on a 30-yard run from Maurice Howard and a 64-yard run from Luke Blanchard. Tyler Noland caught a 33-yard touchdown and Tyson Swope recovered a fumble in the end zone.
The Catamounts will travel to match up with Dacula -- the No. 1 seed from Region 8 and the No. 1 team in the state -- in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs next Friday.
"We've watched a little bit of film and if they have any weaknesses, they sure haven't shown them through 10 weeks," Dalton coach Matt Land said. "We will get to work this weekend and come up with a game plan to give our kids the best chance to win."
Coahulla Creek 23, Ringgold 14
Coahulla Creek ended its season with a win Friday night, defeating Ringgold on senior night, 23-14.
Wright Nelson caught two touchdown passes from Cade Bates and Roberto Brito added another touchdown on a 14-yard scoop-and-score for the Colts (2-8, 1-7 in Region 6-3A).
Coahulla Creek coach Caleb Bagley said he was delighted to end the season on a high note.
"That was the whole goal this week, and they were able to get it done," he said. "Played really well on all phases. I'm just so proud of them, and I's so happy for these seniors."
Hunter Lanier finished with two sacks on defense, and Angel Cabrera added a 34-yard field goal.
Haralson County 37, Murray County 13
Murray County ended its season with a loss Friday night, falling to Haralson County on the road, 37-13.
The Indians (4-6, 2-6 in Region 6-3A) were leading with nine seconds left before halftime, 7-6, until Haralson faked a field goal and scored a touchdown. The Indians ended up trailing at the break, 14-7.
Scores on the night for Murray County were from quarterback Kaleb Jones on a 1-yard run in the first quarter, and senior Gauge Stanley returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Despite the loss, Murray County coach Chad Brewer said he could not have been prouder of his team this season.
"I'm so proud of our program and where we are headed," he said. "We were 0-10 this time last year and on a 12-game losing streak. Our players have played with great effort all year and played with great competitive spirit.
"I'm so proud of our seniors, too. They came to work every day and gave their all for this football team."
Brewer said the effort went well passed the players, too.
"I am proud of our coaching staff and the hard work this past off-season changing our offense and defense and getting us ready to play each week," he said. "I am also thankful for our parents and our fans. I feel like we have great support home and away. The Indian nation has been great this season."
Ridgeland 55, Southeast Whitfield 35
Southeast Whitfield ended its season with a loss at Ridgeland Friday night, 55-35.
Scores for the Raiders (0-10, 0-6 in Region 6-4A) included an 80-yard touchdown run from quarterback Adam Sowder and a long touchdown pass from Sowder to Colter Long.