Thirty-two touchdowns were scored from long range, with five coming on special teams and three on defense. Most occurred in lopsided contests, but a few ended up being game-changers.
Allatoona needed a big play in the fourth quarter to secure a 28-14 win over South Paulding and stay perfect on the season.
The Buccaneers lost a 14-0 third-quarter lead in a 5-minute span. The Spartans used one of the many big plays on the night — a 50-yard touchdown pass — to get on the board late in the third before tying it early in the fourth.
All momentum seemed lost for Allatoona until Jeremy Uzee hit Cody Sorrells on a flat route. Sorrells then broke a couple of tackles before dashing down the sideline for a 48-yard touchdown.
“It definitely changed the momentum of the game and brought it back to us,” Allatoona coach Gary Varner said. “South Paulding got us with a couple of trick plays in the second half, and it was big for us to stop all that.”
As Allatoona’s defense clamped down, its offense scored again on a 26-yard run by Tommy Davis.
Walton needed a big play to gain insurance points to win 21-7 to avoid getting upset by a Cherokee team that is young and rebuilding.
Despite Tyren Jones’ success on the ground this season, Walton has been somewhat inconsistent in moving the ball and occasionally gets hit with costly mistakes.
Against Cherokee, quarterback Parker McLeod threw a fourth-quarter interception that brought the Warriors 10 yards away from tying the game in the fourth quarter. But Walton’s defense denied the Warriors any points, stuffing them on fourth down.
Jones showed his gratitude by breaking loose for a 48-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to get separation.
“It gave us a two-touchdown lead,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “With our defense playing well, we felt like that was enough, unless we turned the ball over.”
While most teams walked off the field a winner after making quick strikes in all three phases of the game, that seemed to work against Whitefield Academy, which lost a close call Friday.
The Wolfpack gave up a 91-yard kickoff return early, but they bounced back to take a fourth-quarter lead before Gordon Lee delivered another big play on a 58-yard dash by Zach Cobb.
Whitefield came close to taking the lead back in the final minutes, but it was stopped on the 8-yard line and the Trojans escaped with a 19-14 win.
“We learned a lot about our football team in a game like this,” Whitefield coach Jimmy Fields said. “We had our chances and couldn’t finish it. The ability to overcome (first-quarter) adversity was big.
It took a few big plays for most of the victorious teams to break the game wide open.
North Cobb beat Harrison 48-14 to stay undefeated, and it did so with two long touchdowns in the third quarter. Tyler Queen hit Cameron Albright for a 50-yard score, and Nick Miller scored on a 90-yard run.
Kell beat North Springs 48-0, with 27 of those points coming by the end of the first quarter. Of the four first-quarter touchdowns the Longhorns scored, three were from 38 yards or more, with one coming on a 51-yard punt return by Jay Moxey.
Hillgrove won 38-0 to end a two-game losing streak. Quarterback Troy Thompson had a 44-yard touchdown pass to Evan Engram in the first quarter, and Elijah Ironside hit Omar Black for a 33-yard strike.
McEachern beat Kennesaw Mountain 39-7, but the Mustangs still had a fighting chance in the third quarter, before the Indians’ Kell Parham came through with a 48-yard interception return.
It was a big play in the first quarter that got Pope on track in its 49-7 win over Cambridge. After the Bears tied it at 7-all on an 82-yard kick return, Brett Lyle answered back for Pope with a 30-yard touchdown run.
North Cobb Christian posted its second win of the year with a 47-7 win over Cross Keys. Kendall Crute launched the Eagles in the first quarter with a 41-yard touchdown and a 100-yard interception return. Crute also added a 94-yard touchdown in the second quarter.