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Chattooga Sports

One For the Record Books

One

Friday night, November 9th really was one for ages. One single point and one single win. The 2018 Chattooga Football team made history Friday night as their key blocked PAT gave them a one-point win for their first home state playoff victory ever. The Indians (9-2) defeated the Washington Bulldogs 7-6.

Bad Karma

The evening actually became exciting before the game even started. The Washington Bulldogs arrived at the Little Big Horn four hours before kick-off and, after being served a meal from the local McDonald’s, a few Washington players paraded onto Buddy Windle Field, placed a sledgehammer on the “C” logo at the 50-yard line, and scuffed up the paint as a signal that the Bulldogs had arrived at the Little Big Horn.

Meanwhile, in the Chattooga locker room, Coach Hammon addressed his current players, along with a group of 25 former players. For Coach Hammon, Friday night’s home playoff game represented five years of combined effort from dozens of committed players, with each of those former players having a role in the continued success of the program. For five straight years Hammon has led the Indians to the playoffs but this was the first time the Indians earned the right to host a playoff game on their own turf.

Chattooga Coach Charles Hammon photo: Stephanie Clayton

Defense Wins Championships

The Bulldogs scored on their opening drive of the first quarter on an 11-yard pass from Adrien Williams to Vachon Raye. A pivotal play followed on the ensuing PAT as Chattooga’s Luis Medina and Ty Veatch brought pressure and blocked the kick. With a 6-0 lead, the Bulldogs were on the board but the Indian defense wouldn’t allow them across the goal line for the rest of the night.

“We had to adjust to the speed of the game early, but once we did, they didn’t get much,” said Defensive Coordinator Bob Smith. In fact, Washington (7-4) punted on every possession afterwards until the fourth quarter when Medina forced a fumble. The 6’2” 285lb junior also recovered the fumble at the Bulldog 33-yard line.

After the Indian offense picked up a crucial first down with just under a minute remaining in the game, Coach Hammon called for the best play in football, the victory formation.

“This was another great effort on defense. We are peaking at just the right time. We are playing with confidence right now and it shows,” said Smith.

Washington’s defensive line made it difficult for the Indians to find any success in the air, so the Indians went back to their signature ground and pound rushing attack with Lackey and Lester to move the ball. “It was one of the best performances by our offensive line and running backs… very proud of the effort those guys gave to keep the ball moving and the clock running,” Co-Offensive Coordinator David Gann said.

photo: Stephanie Clayton

Lester had the longest run of the night with a key 37-yard run that set up Chattooga’s lone touchdown. After a solid run to the 10-yard line from EJ Lackey, Lester powered his way in for the score late in the second quarter. Luis Medina made the extra point which would become the game winning point.

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Chattooga’s special teams was the difference in the game. “Our punter punted well. We got pressure on their punter, forcing some bad punts. Our kickoff team had a touch back and our return team gave us good field position,” said Gann. “Most importantly, we protected Luis Medina who made the extra point. While on the other side Medina and Ty Veatch blocked their extra point.”

photo: Stephanie Clayton

The Chattooga Indians delivered a win for the community and the history books. “It’s special because it’s our first home playoff win. Anytime you can do something for the first time it’s pretty special,” Smith said.

Chattooga fans braved the cold to cheer on their Indians

Next stop for the Indians, Tiger, GA where Chattooga will face the Wildcats of Rabun County next Friday. Led by Head Coach Lee shaw, the Wildcats are the reigning Region 8-AA champions who shut out Spencer 65-0 in their own playoff opener.

Rabun County (10-1, 6-0 Region) is led by 6’1” 196lb freshman quarterback Gunner Stockton (#14) who has posted over 2,200 yards passing with a 68% completion rate. Stockton’s accuracy helped him put up 25 touchdown throws to just five interceptions. On the ground, the Wildcats lean on the undersized speedster Brison Beck (#32). The 5’8” senior has rolled up an impressive 1,100 yards and 18 touchdowns but Stockton is a true dual-threat QB who has nearly 600 yards rushing and 15 scores of his own. While Stockton has spread the ball around, watch out for the duo of Braxton Hicks (#4) and Austin Jones (#7) who have combined for 73 catches and over 1,300 yards receiving and 16 scores.

 

 

 

 

 

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Casie Bryant is the NW Georgia Regional Manager for AllOnGeorgia.

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