Truett’s Chick-fil-A Sports: Darlington advances in high school football playoffs; Rome falls. Berry, Shorter each drop season finales. Georgia finishes sweep of SEC; Tech downed by Boston College. Berry Volleyball headed to national championship series. Falcons at Dallas, 1 this afternoon.

Truett’s Chick-fil-A Sports: Darlington advances in high school football playoffs; Rome falls. Berry, Shorter each drop season finales. Georgia finishes sweep of SEC; Tech downed by Boston College. Berry Volleyball headed to national championship series. Falcons at Dallas, 1 this afternoon.

Truett’s Chick-fli-A, 264 Shorter Ave., 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Self-serve, drive-through, curbside, Door Dash.
Mount Berry Mall, 7 a.m. curbside breakfast; 9 a.m. inside; open until 8:30 p.m. Shipping Container, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. All Monday-Saturday.

HIGH SCHOOL

Saturday’s scores:

  • Johns Creek 31, Rome 27. Season ends.
  • Darlington wins big, 42-17 over Hebron Christian. Next: Tattnall Square.
  • Trion 55-21 over Social Circle. Next: Wilcox Academy.
So far next week:

John McClellan’s high school football playoff predictions:

  • How did John pick ’em? McClellan
  • Next column posts Monday.

Next: Sunday at the Cowboys, 1 p.m., Fox 5,  92.9 FM. Thursday: Home vs. the Patriots, 8:20 p.m.,  Fox 5,  92.9 FM.

Roster: 

NFL/local players


COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL

Berry Volleyball headed to NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament after key Saturday win. Media release:  For the first time in the history of the program, the Berry volleyball team is headed where no other Viking team before them have been before.

On Saturday night in Atlanta, the No. 12-ranked Vikings captured their first NCAA Region VI championship by sweeping host Emory 3-0 to punch Berry’s ticket to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament that begins with the quarterfinals – the Elite Eight – on Thursday in St. Louis, Mo.

The Vikings will take with them an impressive 28-2 record and a 13-game win streak, and a roster that is both deep and well-honored.

Not surprisingly, when they hit the road to volleyball’s version of the “Big Dance” they do so with the best player in the region who is one of five Vikings that were All-Region First Team picks, and the best coach in the region and the region championship.

Entering the regional, senior libero Laura Beier was named the Region VI Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Region selection along with teammates Emily RapachPeyton BreissingerMolly Bergin and Jazzy Innis, and head coach Caitlyn Moriarty was named the Region Coach of the Year.

Against Emory, those talented players played a role in the win as Berry won in straight sets, 25-19, 25-13 and 28-26.

Bergin finished the night leading the team with 10 kills while Innis and Cypress Guenther had eight each, Olivia Mallow defended the net recording five blocks, Rapach set the team up with 45 assists and Beier came up with 20 digs.

Bergin, Innis and Beier were also named to the All-Tournament Team, with Beier being selected as the Most Outstanding Player.

The Vikings will learn after the remaining seven region champions are decided Sunday who their quarterfinal opponent will be.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL

A big crowd packed Valhalla Saturday afternoon as the Berry Vikings ended the 2021 season with a 49-27 loss to Centre. Below: Berry scores on a drive to start the fourth quarter (middle left of the image). Hometown photos.

Berry Vikings hit hard in season finale, 49-27. Finish 6-4. Media release: The Berry football team closed out the 2021 season with a disappointing finale Saturday afternoon at Valhalla when the Vikings were handed a 49-27 Southern Athletic Association defeat by the visiting Centre Colonels.

The loss gives the Vikings a 6-4 overall record for the year and a 4-3 SAA slate.

Centre (8-2, 5-2) took control of the game from the outset as the visitors raced out to a 35-0 halftime lead as the Colonels amassed 350 yards in the first half, and continued their offensive explosion in the final two quarters as they ended the game rolling up 518 total yards.

The Vikings were kept in check for most of the day, as Berry was held to 109 yards in the first two quarters and, after finally getting their offense in gear in the second half, finished the game with 316 yards.

The lone highlight of the day for the home team came via the passing game as all four touchdowns in the second half were four touchdown passes by junior quarterback Gavin Gray, with freshman running back Brandon Cade accounting for two TD receptions – he also scored on a 2-yard run – and Deiondre Wilson also on the receiving end of a scoring toss.

Gray and Cade hooked up to put the first points on the board for the Vikings early in the third quarter when the two hooked up for a 20-yard scoring pass, then combined for a 32-yard touchdown pass late in the game. Wilson’s scoring catch from Gray was a 20-yard in the opening minute of the final quarter.

Gray finished the game completing 16 of 26 passes for 211 yards.

Cade and fellow freshman back Josh Rogers rushed for 68 and 56 yards, respectively.

Centre quarterback Trentin Dupper led the Colonels totaling 353 total offensive yards – 215 passing yards with a pair of touchdowns and 130 yards on the ground and three TDs – while Patric Edwards ran for 148 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.

Shorter Hawks hammered on the road, 56-0, by North Greenville. Media release: After an impressive Senior Day win versus Erskine College last week, the Hawks headed to Tigerville, S.C., for their final game of the 2021 season on Saturday. The Hawks were no match for North Greenville University (NGU), as the visitors dropped the game by a score of 56-0.

NGU’s Dre’ Williams started things off with a 71-yard touchdown run to open the scoring at 7-0 with 10:45 left in the first quarter. Williams finished with 123 yards rushing on the afternoon with the touchdown. Crusaders’ quarterback Kaelan Riley had an impressive day as well, throwing for 250 yards on 19-of-21 passing with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Cale Swift (101 yards rushing), EJ Humphrey and Yavin Smith accounted for the other touchdowns on the game via the ground to give the Crusaders (5-6, 2-5) the victory.

Shorter’s Nehemiah Reddish led the Hawks’ defense with seven total tackles. Trevon Hawkins finished right behind his teammate with six total tackles. Cornell Washington and Chris Williams tied for third in total tackles with five apiece. Hunter Poole and Bradley Kirk both forced fumbles, and Poole recovered his. The Hawks finished the 2021 campaign with a 3-8 overall record (0-7 in conference play).

State teams:

Georgia Bulldogs win big in Knoxville, 41-17. Media release: Georgia senior running back James Cook tied a career high with 104 yards rushing and three touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to a 41-17 win against Tennessee in front of 100,074 fans and a CBS national television audience Saturday afternoon at Neyland Stadium.

The top-ranked Bulldogs improve to 10-0 overall for the first time since 1982 and 8-0 against Southeastern Conference opponents for the first time in program history. The Volunteers falls to 5-5 this season.

Tennessee led 10-7 at the end of the first quarter, but Georgia scored 34 unanswered points to take control of the game. The Bulldogs outgained the Volunteers 487-387 overall and outrushed the home team, 274-55.

“This is a tough place to play, tough atmosphere to play in, but we had excellent focus and detail from our guys,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “They just continue to be resilient and fight through adversity. This is a tough environment. Tennessee starts fast. We didn’t stop them early, but we stopped more later in the game.” 

The two teams traded scores on their opening possessions. Following a Hendon Hooker 9-yard touchdown pass to Velus Jones, Jr., Georgia quickly answered with Cook’s 39-yard scamper.

After a pair of three-and-outs, Tennessee drove 76 yards on a 13-play drive, capped off by Chase McGrath’s 24-yard field goal, to take a 10-7 lead after one quarter.

From there, Georgia scored 17 unanswered points in the first half. A field goal from Jack Podlesny, a 9-yard TD rush by Stetson Bennett and a 90-yard drive capped off by Cook’s 23-yard touchdown reception put the Bulldogs up 24-10 at the break.

The Bulldogs outgained the Vols 191-25 in total yards — including a 69-4 advantage on the ground— in the second period, while Cook totaled 113 total yards (rushing and receiving) with two touchdowns to lead Georgia’s offense. Senior defensive back Derion Kendrick recorded his second interception of the season, while junior linebacker Nakobe Dean totaled seven tackles to pace the Georgia defense in the first 30 minutes.

“I thought Dan Lanning did a great job,” Smart added. “Our defensive staff really prepared our guys for it. It is hard to prepare for that when it was hitting them fast. They run a lot of screens and things outside and spread the ball around … They threw the ball a lot more than we thought, but our guys bounced back.”

To begin the third, Georgia’s defense stopped Tennessee’s fourth-down attempt deep in Bulldog territory. Georgia then went on a 13-play, 74-yard drive that resulted in a Podlesny field goal to stretch the lead to 27-10.

Cook scored his third touchdown of the day to open the fourth quarter — this time from five yards out to give Georgia the 34-10 lead.

The Bulldog defense kept the Tennessee offense from converting a pair of fourth-downs attempts and recovered a Hooker fumble to keep the Volunteers out of the end zone. Georgia junior running back Kenny McIntosh punched it in from five yards in and Tennessee’s Cedric Tillman’s caught a 12-yard TD reception to put the final score at 41-17.

  • Next:. Nov. 20: Home vs. Charleston Southern, noon.
  • SEC Schedule

Georgia Tech falls 41-30 to Boston College. Media release:  Jahmir Gibbs ran a kickoff back 98 yards for a touchdown and scored another on the ground, piling up 223 all-purpose yards, but Georgia Tech suffered a 41-30 Atlantic Coast Conference football defeat to Boston College Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets fell to 3-7 overall and 2-6 in the ACC, while the Eagles won their second straight game, becoming bowl-eligible at 6-4 overall and 2-4 in conference play.

Gibbs’ kickoff return came in the opening period, answering Boston College’s opening touchdown drive, and sparked Georgia Tech to 21 straight points. Quarterback Jordan Yates led the Yellow Jackets on long drives in their next two possessions, hitting Malachi Carter for 12 yards to cap a 70-yard march, and plunging in from 2 yards out at the end of an 85-yard drive to give tech a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.

The Eagles didn’t stay down long, utilizing big plays in the passing game to score three times in the second quarter for a 28-21 halftime lead. Eagles’ quarterback Phil Jurkovec went 8-for-12 through the air for 237 yards in the opening half, with five of his eight completions going for 38 yards or more. Two of his long tosses went for touchdowns to Zay Flowers totaling 87 yards.

Tech battled back in the third quarter, getting a 28-yard field goal from Brett Cimaglia, and the Jackets drove 77 yards to the Eagles’ 12 on their next possession before a Yates interception snuffed out Tech’s bid to take the lead. After a BC field goal, Yates took the Jackets 68 yards in eight plays for a touchdown. Gibbs scored from four yards out, but Cimaglia’s extra point kick bounced off the right upright, leaving the Jackets behind, 31-30. That’s as close as they would get.

BC then drove 90 yards, getting an insurance touchdown on Jurkovec’s 31-yard run with 2:48 left in the game, and added a 27-yard Connor Lytton field goal with 1:01 left in the game for the final margin.

Gibbs finished the game with 96 yards on 19 rushes, and caught five passes for 29 yards. Yates was 17-of-28 for 126 yards.

  • Next:   Nov. 20: At Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m., NBC.
  • ACC Schedule.
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