CANTON -- Dalton High School had quite the view on Friday night.
Running back Jahmyr Gibbs finished with 315 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 22 carries to help lead his team to victory at Creekview, 42-19. Dalton (4-0, 2-0 in Region 6-6A) passed the ball twice all game, and on only seven offensive plays did a player other than Gibbs end up with the ball for the Catamounts.
With Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins in attendance on the sidelines, the Yellow Jacket-commit surpassed 1,000 yards rushing on the season and continued to make a name for himself as the state's leading rusher.
"This season has been special," Gibbs said. "The offensive line has been blocking great and everyone is doing the little things right so it's making the whole team better."
Gibbs scored on his last two touches of the game, an 18-yard run and a 66-yarder in the fourth quarter, and said he called his own number on the final carry.
"The last one I told coach to just give me the ball," Gibbs said. "We kept running all this stuff we don't normally run and I said just run the ball and we'll score. We ran it and we scored."
Though the final score looked one way, Creekview (3-2, 1-2 in Region 6-6A) only trailed 21-19 at the end of the third quarter. The Grizzlies' game plan went almost to perfection in the first three quarters with the offense able to stay on the field for extended drives and keep Gibbs on the sideline. After Gibbs first touchdown in the first quarter, Creekview quarterback Brody Rhodes connected with Ethan Dirrim for a 51-yard touchdown pass down the sideline to tie the game at 7. Rhodes finished 14-for-29 passing for 177 yards and one touchdown and after the game said he felt his team was right in it.
"The first half we were playing really well," Rhodes said. "It would have been nice to punch those two field goals in for touchdowns, but we were moving the ball and keeping (Gibbs) off the field. He's a heck of a player, I mean there's not a lot you can do about him. But we were right in, and it could have been a nail-biter, they just ended up running away with it."
Dalton led 21-13 at halftime, and Creekview opened the third quarter with an onside kick which the Grizzlies recovered. After a short drive, Dalton forced a turnover on downs, but two plays later Creekview's Ethan Dirrim jumped the snap count and forced a fumble by Gibbs which the Grizzlies recovered.
Creekview then marched 40 yards on seven plays and Dirrim finished it himself with an 18-yard touchdown run that saw him hurdle a defender, spin away from another and run over the final defensive back to cross the goal line. Dirrim finished with five receptions for 77 yards, four rushes for 26 yards and a touchdown and the forced fumble that set up his own score.
The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, but the Grizzlies seemed to have taken the momentum.
"I mean we played our hearts out," Creekview coach Trevor Williams said. "We just wanted to steal a possession on that onside kick to start the second half. You gotta score touchdowns and match a team like that score for score. I'm incredibly proud of our guys though, our offensive line is starting to grow up right in front of our eyes and our seniors did a great job of leading with some adversity there late."
Gibbs scored three touchdowns in the final quarter, and Creekview was unable to answer the onslaught. Dalton head coach Matt Land said he's had good players before, but never one as electric as Gibbs.
Gibbs echoed both coaches in saying the game was much closer than the final score. Even after a six-touchdown performance, the star of the game was talking about the opposition post game.
"They're a really good team," Gibbs said. "I think they were really well coached and they have multiple players who can make plays, like No. 5 (Dirrim) No. 7 (Brennen Kolb) and their quarterback (Rhodes). Those guys are all good. It just came down to a couple plays tonight that we were able to make."
Dalton continues region play next Friday as it travles to Harrison.