2010 Football Schedule Results and Recaps
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Peachtree Ridge

21 - 24


43 - 21


23 - 22

North Cobb

31 - 28


52 - 24


28 - 10


54 - 15

Kennesaw Mtn.

21 - 10

South Cobb 

56 - 23

 East Coweta

31 - 19


64 - 48


28 - 31 

Game Results and Recaps:

November 5 - McEachern vs. East Coweta

Results: McEachern 31 - East Coweta 19

Recap: (by the Marietta Daily Journal)

POWDER SPRINGS - McEachern bounced back from a first-quarter deficit, scoring the next 24 points, and went on claim a 31-19 win over East Coweta on Friday in the first round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs at Walter Cantrell Stadium.

After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, the Indians (10-1) came storming back with two touchdown passes by Dondre Purnell in the second quarter and a scoring run by Purnell in the third quarter.

With the win, its first postseason victory since 2004, McEachern advanced to next week's second round and will host Valdosta.

Coach Kyle Hockman was impressed with how his Indians performed against battle-tested East Coweta (7-4), which played its final three regular-season games against the other state playoff teams from Region 2AAAAA: Stephenson, M.L. King and Newnan.

"East Coweta is a very good team," Hockman said. "They finished their regular season against three very good teams, so they were ready to play. Our kids did a great job against a very good opponent and I'm very proud of them."

Purnell played a big role for McEachern, as the senior quarterback went 6-of-9 passing for 147 yards and two touchdowns, including a 65-yard pass to Amba Etta-Tawo in the second quarter. He also rushed for 79 yards on four carries, including a 61-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Demarcus Godfrey rushed for 116 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown to lead East Coweta.

It was Godfrey's touchdown run that put East Coweta on the scoreboard first as he stormed down the field for a 47-yard score. Spencer Smith added the extra-point kick to put the visitors in front 3-0 with 3:03 remaining in the first quarter.

McEachern struck back early in the second quarter when Purnell launched his 65-yard touchdown pass to Etta-Tawo with 7:21 remaining in the first half. Nicholas St. Germain's extra-point then evened the score at 7-all.

The Indians proceeded to take the lead towards the end of the first half when Purnell threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Chris Davis, and St. Germain added the kick with 1:04 left to make it 14-7.

A field goal and another touchdown pushed McEachern further ahead in the third quarter as St. Germain kicked a 30-yard field goal with 8:48 left and Purnell scored on his 61-yard run with 1:42 left for a 24-7 advantage.

Willie Holloway's 2-yard touchdown run with 8:20 remaining in the game helped East Coweta cut McEachern's lead to 24-13, and it got even closer when Carl Dann scored on a 26-yard run with 5:23 left to reduce its deficit even more to 24-19.

But McEachern ended the threat on its next offensive series as the Indians completed an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Marquis Roberts and the extra-point by St. Germain with 1:03 left.

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Indians avoid another first round exit


November 5 - McEachern vs. Kennesaw Mtn.

Results: McEachern 21 - Kennesaw Mtn. 10

Recap: (by the Marietta Daily Journal)

KENNESAW - In the regular season finale Friday night, McEachern needed a fourth-quarter comeback for its ninth straight win, a hard-fought 21-10 victory over Kennesaw Mountain in a Region 4AAAAA battle at Cobb Energy/Mustang Stadium.

The Indians, the region champions who are ranked fourth in the state, move on to host East Coweta next week while the Mustangs conclude their campaign with a fourth consecutive loss.

"I give a lot of credit to Kennesaw," McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. "Their kids came out and played hard. Although we tried not to look forward to the playoffs, obviously, our kids must have been doing that."

After three punts to start the contest, the Indians (9-1, 7-0) began a drive at midfield but lost a fumble that was recovered by Trever McNeal of Kennesaw Mountain (1-9, 1-6), giving the hosts the ball at their own 45-yard line. Five plays later, Will Campbell threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Clay, Carter Haines added the point-after and the Mustangs had a 7-0 lead with 4:23 left in the opening quarter.

The teams traded punts before McEachern mounted a 74-yard scoring drive that took eight plays. Chris Davis pulled in a 14-yard touchdown pass from Trent Thompson, Nicholas St. Germain kicked the first of his three successful extra points and the score was tied, 7-7, with 9:48 to go in the second period.

Three more punts followed but the Indians lost another fumble on the return of the third one, with the Mustangs' Brandon Robertson recovering it at McEachern's 19-yard line. As time was running out in the first half, Kennesaw Mountain's Cameron Hay made a 29-yard field goal, giving the upstart Mustangs a 10-7 halftime advantage.

To start the second half, the Indians put together a mammoth 19-play, 51-yard drive that took more than 10 minutes off the clock. The guests came up empty, however, missing a field goal attempt from 33 yards.

After a Kennesaw Mountain punt, McEachern gave the ball up on downs at the Mustangs' 44-yard line.

Three more punts followed but the third one, by Kennesaw Mountain, was blocked by the Indians' Chris Okpala, changing the momentum of the contest and giving McEachern the ball at the Mustangs' 30-yard line. Three snaps later, the Indians had their first lead of the night, 14-10, with 4:43 remaining in the final quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run by Chris Nwagbara.

McEachern's defense forced a punt on the ensuing possession, and the Indians' Jelani Wells returned it 51 yards for a touchdown, making the score 21-10 with 2:50 left in the contest.

"Special teams came up big for us at the end," Hockman said. "I'm proud of our guys because they continued to fight."

Kennesaw Mountain took over at its own 28-yard line, but an interception by McEachern's DeNard Ford sealed the victory.

"With 5 minutes left we're up 10-7, but getting that punt blocked really changed the complexion of the game," Kennesaw Mountain coach Chad McGehee said. "Two special teams plays late in the game were really the difference.

"I'm so proud of our kids, especially our seniors. They could have packed it in but they came out here and battled and fought, and were very competitive with one of the best teams in the state."

Zarold Wilder led the Indians' offense by rushing for 137 yards on 22 carries. Davis finished with four receptions for 42 yards.

For the Mustangs, sophomore Marcus Brown ran for 48 yards in 13 attempts while Clay caught three passes for 43 yards.
Copyright 2010 The Marietta Daily Journal. All rights reserved.

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Indians get early idea of what to expect in the playoffs


October 29 - McEachern vs. Harrison

Results: McEachern 28 - Harrison 10

Recap: (by the Marietta Daily Journal)

POWDER SPRINGS - After riding the heels of an offense that averaged more than 43 points per game over its first eight games, it was McEachern's defense that came up with their finest effort of the season.

The third-ranked Indians held off a spirited effort from Harrison to win 28-10 on Friday at Walter Cantrell Stadium.

The victory clinched McEachern (8-1, 6-0) the Region 4AAAAA championship, its second straight region title after winning the top prize in 5AAAAA a year ago.

"I couldn't be more proud of our defensive effort (Friday)," McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. "The unit played really well, they played hard, were always running to the ball and did a lot of good things against a good team."

McEachern won in part by forcing five turnovers in the game, while allowing its fewest points in a game this season. It also marked the first time the Indians had won back-to-back region titles since a string of five in a row from 1995-99.

"It's a great feeling to win back-to-back region titles," Hockman added. "We have such a strong tradition here at McEachern with the 12 titles in 13 years in the '80s and '90s, and to now have this team adding to that tradition proves that last season wasn't a fluke and that this is a very good team."

The Indians broke ahead on their opening possession, using three plays and 88 seconds to cover 40 yards, capped off by a 19-yard pass from Dondre Purnell to Rory Anderson.

The lead was short-lived as Harrison running back C.J. Posey, who finished with eight carries for 102 yards, raced around end on the first play from scrimmage and sprinted 80 yards to tie the game.

While the first 2 minutes of the game proved exhilarating, the next 10 minutes of the quarter proved to be quite interesting as three turnovers, sacks and missed field goals all left the crowd in amazement and kept the teams knotted in a 7-7 tie.

Looking like the score would remain even headed into halftime another dramatic play breathed life into the Indians as Marquis Roberts ran 90 yards to give McEachern a lead they would not relinquish. Roberts (102) and teammate Zarold Wilder (135) each ran for more than 100 yards as the Indians grinded out 310 yards on the ground.

Harrison (4-5, 3-3) managed to add a 37-yard field goal by Darren Parkinson just before intermission to make the score 14-10, but that would be as close as they would come the remainder of the night.

The second half saw McEachern wear down the Hoyas' defense while grinding through the Harrison defensive line for a pair of touchdowns. A 1-yard plunge by Roberts in the third quarter and a 19-yard scamper by Wilder immediately after a C.J. Cody interception cinched the game with 6 minutes left.

"Harrison is a good team that has been playing well lately," Hockman said, "but we stepped up on defense with Marquis Roberts, Dennard Ford and Jefferson Ashiru playing very well."

McEachern will concludes the season at Kennesaw Mountain next week, while Harrison will play out for pride at North Cobb.

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Indians clinch region title


October 22 - McEachern vs. North Cobb

Results: McEachern 31 - North Cobb 28

Recap: (by the Marietta Daily Journal)

KENNESAW - Two weeks ago, North Cobb rallied for a game-winning touchdown with 1:11 left on the clock to beat Pebblebrook by four points on the road.

On Friday night, the Warriors saw it from the other end.

Rory Anderson's 13-yard touchdown reception from Trent Thompson with 45 seconds left capped a dramatic come-from-behind victory for McEachern, which scored 17 unanswered points in the final 14 minutes to beat North Cobb 31-28 in Region 4AAAAA action at Emory Sewell Stadium.

The victory was the seventh in a row for the third-ranked Indians (7-1, 5-0) who remained in sole possession of first place in the region. The Warriors (5-3, 3-2) lost their second straight game, and fell into a four-way tie for second in the standings with Hillgrove, South Cobb and Harrison.

"We preach (resiliency) a whole bunch and our kids believe it, too, after you win several in a row," McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. "We've done it several times over the last two or three years where we've come back and scored at the end of a half or at the end of a game. They know what to do and how to execute and to keep themselves poised.

"You get a road region win against a very good football team, you're going to be in great shape regardless of how it happened. There are so many things that can happen, but you want to be in control of your own destiny, and have those home playoff games."

With the score tied at 14-all at the start of the second half, McEachern's Zarold Wilder fumbled the ball on the first play from scrimmage. It was recovered by North Cobb's Darius Conoway, giving the Warriors the ball at their own 45-yard line.

A 39-yard run from Travis Hawkins, coupled with a 22-yard pass to Max Mason, set up fourth-and-4 at the 5-yard line. After a timeout, Hawkins found Mason for a 5-yard touchdown grab and a 21-14 Warrior lead with 8:56 left in the third.

North Cobb scored on its next possession, as Quentin James, who rushed eight times for 70 yards, scored the second of his two touchdowns with a 45-yard run that put the Warriors up 28-14 with 5:03 remaining in the period.

That was just enough time for McEachern to come back.

Nicholas St. Germain converted a 44-yard field goal with 2:14 remaining in the third and, after DeNard Ford intercepted Hawkins' pass in the end zone, Thompson converted first-down passing plays of 16 and 31 yards. He then found Chris Davis for a 25-yard touchdown reception on third down to trim the deficit to 28-24 with 8:30 left in the game.

McEachern's defense forced a three-and-out punt, but couldn't score after Thompson was intercepted at the North Cobb 4 with 2:52 remaining.

The Warriors gained 1 yard on five plays as a holding penalty halted their momentum, and McEachern's run defense didn't allow any big plays to force a North Cobb punt.

Chris Nwagbara returned the punt 29 yards back to the North Cobb 26. Four plays later, Thompson found Anderson for the go-ahead score with 45 seconds left.

North Cobb moved the ball down to the McEachern 47 on the ensuing possession, but Anderson intercepted Hawkins' desperation pass with no time remaining to end the game.

"We didn't play well in the first or the second half," said Anderson, who didn't have a catch in the first half, but finished the game with four receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown. "But, we came together as a team, stayed poised and kept No. 5 (fallen teammate Rajaan Bennett) in our hearts. When we weren't putting up any numbers in the second half, I sat down with the coaches and asked them to start getting me the ball, and they did."

Thompson was 7-for-12 for 168 yards, three touchdowns and an interception to lead McEachern. Wilder had 17 carries for 73 yards.

North Cobb's first drive ended with a punt, but Nick Johnson recovered a fumble on the return and James capitalized with a 5-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 Warrior lead.

Davis, who had two catches for 87 yards, scored his first of two receiving touchdowns off a 75-yard strike from Thompson on McEachern's second possession to tie the game.

North Cobb responded behind a 4-yard run from Hawkins for a 14-7 lead with 9:22 left in the second.

The Indians' final drive of the first half, which went 18 plays, included two fumble recoveries and a pass-interference penalty against North Cobb, took nearly 9 minutes off the clock.

Tray Fletcher caught a 20-yard pass from Dondre Purnell, but fumbled at the 1-yard line. Fortunately, Dontavious Lawson recovered it in the end zone to tie the game at 14-all heading into halftime.

Hawkins was 16-for-22 for 146 yards and a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed 17 times for 91 yards and a score. Mason had five receptions for 136 yards.

"McEachern did what it had to do to win the ballgame," North Cobb coach Shane Queen said. "We got up by two touchdowns, and we didn't put the game away. Hats off to them, (McEachern) did what they needed to do. I'm proud of my kids for fighting hard against the No. 3 team in the state until the last 45 seconds of the game. They did a great job."

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Indians escape with victory


October 15 - McEachern vs. Pebblebrook

Results: McEachern 43 - Pebblebrook 21

Recap: (by the Marietta Daily Journal)

McEachern rallied from a second-quarter deficit, scoring 30 straight points on its way toward posting a 43-21 win over Pebblebrook on Friday in a Region 4AAAAA game at Walter Cantrell Stadium.

The third-ranked Indians (6-1, 4-0) ended the night as the region's lone unbeaten following North Cobb's loss to Hillgrove. The Falcons (3-4, 2-2) fell into a four-way tie for third with Hillgrove, South Cobb and Harrison, setting up what should be an exciting final three weeks of football as teams jockey for playoff position.

McEachern's Dondre Purnell connected on two long touchdown passes to put the game out of reach. With the Indians holding a 20-14 lead at halftime, Purnell found Chris Davis for a 73-yard strike on the second play from scrimmage at the start of the third quarter to put the Indians up 27-14 with 11:09 remaining in the frame.

In the middle of the fourth quarter, and with McEachern on top 36-14, Purnell found Amba Etta-Tawo for a 58-yard touchdown pass for a 43-14 lead with 6:48 on the clock.

The Indians held a commanding advantage, outgaining the Falcons 338-136 in second-half yardage.

For the game, Purnell was 8-for-10 on his passing attempts for 251 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Etta-Tawo had seven receptions for 130 yards and a score, while Davis caught four passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.

McEachern racked up 438 passing yards and 586 yards of total offense.

"We have a goal coming into every game to get at least four explosive plays out of our offense," McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. "We try to work on that and the kids do what's required to try to get those plays. Of course, you need explosive players to create those situations and, fortunately, we have that capability with the guys who suit up for us."

Neither offense could get started early as Pebblebrook went three-and-out on its first two possessions and was forced to punt. The Falcons did manage to intercept Purnell in the end zone as the Indians threatened to score on their first possession, but the Falcons couldn't capitalize on the gift.

Quarterback Trent Thompson, who completed 16 of 24 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown and an interception, directed the Indians back into the red zone on their second possession. He used a nine-play, 58-yard drive that included a pass-interference call in the end zone to set up a 2-yard Marquis Roberts touchdown run for a 6-0 lead after a failed point-after attempt.

On McEachern's next drive, a 54-yard completion from Purnell to Davis set up a 9-yard touchdown pass to Tray Fletcher for a 13-0 advantage with 8:40 left in the second quarter.

Pebblebrook answered with a 13-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 1-yard run from Sertonuse Harris as the Falcons trailed 13-7 with 3:01 left in the second. The march included a 13-yard third-down completion from C.J. Goodman to Ne'Quon Jeffries, as well as a two 15-yard penalties against the Indians.

Cedric Alexander recovered a McEachern fumble, leading to a 15-yard touchdown throw from Goodman to Dontavious Heard that gave the Falcons a 14-13 lead with 2:21 left until halftime.

Thompson then directed an 80-yard, 2-minute drill that resulted in a 7-yard touchdown to Fletcher for a 20-14 advantage with 17.9 remaining until halftime.

After Davis' 73-yard touchdown, Roberts found the end zone again on a 1-yard run on McEachern's third possession of the third quarter for 34-14 lead.

Pebblebrook's defense had two big stops on fourth-and-inches in the second half, but the latter occurred at their own goal line and resulted in a safety for McEachern and a 36-14 advantage with 7:08 left in the contest.

Following the safety, Purnell connected with Etta-Tawo on the 58-yard score for a 43-14 margin.

Pebblebrook reached the end zone on its final possession as Goodman, who was 10-of-29 for 134 yards, a touchdown and an interception, completed passes of 25, 33 and 24 yards before finding Jeffries for a 2-yard score with 2:50 left and a 43-21 final margin.

Jeffries caught six passes for 101 yards and a touchdown, while Harris rushed eight times for 42 yards and a touchdown.

Zarold Wilder rushed 18 times for 77 yards for McEachern.

"Our mistakes really hurt us, but these guys are fighters," Pebblebrook coach Randall Smith said. "I'm proud of their effort, and the mistakes that we made in the secondary happen from time to time. We just have to learn from that and get better next time out."

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Indians get a scare before pulling away


October 8 - McEachern vs. Hillgrove

Results: McEachern 64 - Hillgrove 48

Recap: (by the Marietta Daily Journal)

McEachern survives chaotic offensive night at Hillgrove
by William Bretherton

In their first battle for neighborhood bragging rights, there was a combined 112 points and 1,125 yards of offense before fourth-ranked McEachern beat Hillgrove in a wild 64-48 win at Cobb Energy/Hillgrove Stadium.

"I remember in basketball, playing back in the day, we played some good basketball games with that kind of scoring," McEachern coach Kyle Hockman joked, "but I can't recall anything of this nature. That's the way this game is moving.

"I'm tired. That was a tough game. With the ball going up and down, you're moving and making adjustments. When you get that many points, you are trying to make adjustments defensively. It was 48 minutes of hell, where it was just fast and furious. I'm tired and I think my kids are, too."

In the third quarter alone, the teams combined for 52 points and 446 yards. McEachern's first three drives of the second half resulted in touchdown drives that needed two plays or less.

"I'm just proud of our kids," Hillgrove coach Phil Ironside said. "There was a lot of build-up for five years on this game. The McEachern community wanted to blow us out. Our kids fought and hung in there. We're better for it."

"Any time, but especially in our region, you can pick up a victory on the road, it's an important part of the season," Hockman said. "(Hillgrove) has a really good ball club. We were really impressed with them physically on both sides of the ball. They executed very well offensively."

McEachern receiver Amba Etta-Tawo was able to find open space in the secondary and outleap single coverage at times to catch six passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. On the other side, quarterback Dondre Purnell finished 11-for-16 with 242 yards passing and three touchdowns.

On the ground, Purnell carried the ball five times for 101 yards and a score, which came from 46 yards out and capped off the night's scoring.

"(Purnell) is a playmaker," Hockman said. "He throws the heck out of the ball, and when things break down, he can go make it on his own and saved us a couple of times, for sure."

Although it is strange to say, the defense made the difference for McEachern (5-1, 3-0) in the Region 4AAAAA showdown. Hillgrove quarterback Gage Henry threw three interceptions, while the Indians didn't turn the ball over once.

Darrell Robertson had the first of those interceptions in the second quarter, where a long return set the Indians up at the Hillgrove 9 and led to a score on the next play. Robertson also finished with a sack.

Henry's second interception was on a screen play where Chris Okpala jumped up, blocked a screen pass, intercepted the deflection and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown that opened the scoring in the second half.

At that point, the score was 31-14 and the game had all the makings of a rout.

"Our kids played hard," Ironside said. "We were about ready to get blown out and came back. I'm really proud of them for competing with the (fourth-best) team in the state in our first year in AAAAA. That's a good deal for us."

While Henry did throw three interceptions, he was critical in the Hawks' comeback as well. In total, he accounted for 538 yards. Through the air, he completed 30 of 43 passes for 472 yards and five touchdowns, while running the ball 12 times for 66 yards and a score on the ground.

According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, Henry's single-game tally of 472 yards in the air was seventh all-time in state history.

"All people said was, 'Can he play quarterback for ya'll? Can he play in this offense? Is he good enough to do it?'" Ironside said. "Well, I believe he is. He had surgery two weeks ago, and has come back with probably 800 yards of offense in two ball games. So, he's a 4.25 (grade-point average) student and a warrior on the field."

Along with Hillgrove's turnovers, a bizarre play also had an impact on the game. With 7 minutes to play in the third quarter and the score 38-21 in McEachern's favor, Hillgrove (4-2, 1-2) had the ball at its own 26-yard line on a fourth-and-4.

Ironside elected to go for the first down.

Henry threw a 6-yard pass to running back Kenyan Drake for a first down, but the officials threw a flag on the play, calling Hillgrove for both an illegal participation and an illegal touching penalty. McEachern accepted the illegal touching penalty, which the officials ruled as a loss-of-downs penalty.

Two plays later, Trent Thompson completed an 11-yard score to Etta-Tawo for his second touchdown of the game, and pushed McEachern's lead to 45-21.

Lost in the final score, McEachern kicker Nicholas St. Germain was 3-for-3 on field goals, including two from 54 and 52 yards out. On top of his place-kicking duties, he finished with six touchbacks.

The high-scoring affair required so many kicks that St. Germain eventually left the game late in the fourth quarter due to cramps, according to Hockman.

"I know there's a lot of colleges that would be dying to have that weapon," Hockman said. "Maybe the (Atlanta) Falcons would be dying to have that weapon."

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - McEachern survives chaotic offensive night at Hillgrove



October 1 - McEachern vs. South Cobb

Results: McEachern 56 - South Cobb 23

Recap: (by the Marietta Daily Journal)

Indians Knock Eagles Down a Notch with Loss
by Greg Oshust
goshust@mdjonline.com The Marietta Daily Journal
POWDER SPRINGS - McEachern's offensive juggernaut continued to roll Friday night as the fourth-ranked Indians beat South Cobb 56-23 in a Region 4AAAAA game at Walter Cantrell Stadium.

McEachern (4-1, 2-0) jumped out to a 28-0 lead and South Cobb (3-2, 1-1) was never able to catch up to the Indians, who scored two touchdowns in each quarter.

It was the third game in a row that McEachern had scored more than 50 points in a game. The Indians have now scored 162 points in their last three games.

"The kids did a great job jumping out of the gate," McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. "The kids played hard and they did a good job. You have to give credit to South Cobb. They are a well-coached team and they never gave up. I am proud of our kids."

Zarold Wilder rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries to lead the Indians, while Dondre Purnell completed 10 of 15 passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns.

McEachern scored on the first offensive series of the game as its 11-play, 59-yard drive concluded with a 1-yard touchdown run by Purnell. The extra-point by Nicholas St. Germain gave the Indians a 7-0 lead with 8:13 remaining in the first quarter.

After forcing South Cobb to punt, McEachern struck again on its next series as it started on the Eagles' 40 and took nine plays to get in the end zone with Wilder's 12-yard touchdown run. The kick with 2:40 left in the first quarter increased the Indians' advantage to 14-0.

McEachern increased its lead to 21-0 at the beginning of the second quarter when Purnell threw a 37-yard touchdown pass with 11:49 left in the first half.

It was McEachern's defense that provided the scoring with 10:31 left in the first half as South Cobb quarterback Johntavious Mullins fumbled the ball in the Eagles' end zone after being sacked for a 6-yard loss and Marquis Roberts recovered the ball for a touchdown. St. Germain's extra point gave the Indians a 28-0 lead.

South Cobb got on the scoreboard for the first time later in the third quarter as Mullins threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Germaine Beaty with 2:51 left. Louis Alvarez's kick McEachern's lead to 28-7.

The Eagles continued cut into the Indians' lead before the end of the first half when Jorge Saldana's 30-yard field goal with 2.8 seconds left made it 28-10.

South Cobb got the second half off to a rousing start as Demarcus Adkins broke loose for a 51-yard touchdown run to cut the Eagles' deficit to 28-16 with 9:02 remaining in the third quarter.

McEachern struck right back as Purnell threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Tray Fletcher with 7:14 left in the third quarter to increase the Indians' advantage to 35-16.

South Cobb got a big break when it recovered a McEachern fumble at the Indian 30 with 5:40 left in the third quarter and took five plays to get the ball in the end zone, with Mullins scoring on a 10-yard run with 4:40 left to cut the Eagles' deficit to 35-23.

McEachern answered on its next offensive series, however, as Trent Thompson's 27-yard scoring pass to Fletcher pushed the Indians lead back up to 42-23.

McEachern added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter as Purnell threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Davis with 2:22 left and Wilder's scored on a 44-yard run in the final seconds of the game to give the Indians their final margin of victory.

"We knew that we had to survive that first onslaught by McEachern and we weren't able to do that," South Cobb coach Ed Koester said. "We just gave up too many points too early and we weren't able to catch up."

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Indians knock Eagles down a notch with loss


September 17 - McEachern vs. Campbell

Results: McEachern 54 - Campbell 15

Recap: (by the Marietta Daily Journal)

McEachern Scores in Bunches in Victory at Campbell
by Zac Diodati
MDJ Sports Correspondent The Marietta Daily Journal

Week 4: McEachern at CampbellSMYRNA - After suffering a first round exit in the state playoffs in 2009, the McEachern Indians are on a mission to claim another region title and a deeper playoff run this fall. McEachern, ranked 4th in the state in class AAAAA, traveled to Campbell on Friday night and cruised to a 54-15 rout of the Spartans.

Defensively, McEachern held Campbell to just five total yards on the ground, and didn't allow a first down until the fourth quarter. McEachern outgained Campbell in total yards 405-138, and set a school record for most points in consecutive games, after putting up 52 last week against Marietta.

The Indians scored on their first four possessions, taking a 19-0 lead just one play into the second quarter.

The scoring got started on McEachern's first series, with quarterback Dondre Purnell taking his team 72 yards in six plays, capping the drive with a seven-yard scoring run.

After CJ Cody intercepted Campbell quarterback Caleb Edmonds on the ensuing drive, McEachern set out to score again, this time getting a touchdown on their first play of the drive from junior Trent Thompson, who was in the game at quarterback, as he completed a 27 yard throw to Chris Davis in the middle of the end zone.

The two-quarterback system proved successful for McEachern as Purnell completed five of eight passes for 80 yards and one touchdown, while Thompson went 8-for-11 for 95 yards and two scores.

McEachern place kicker Nick St. Germain connected on field goals from 21 and 33 yards in the first half, part of his impressive night going 5-for-6 on extra points and sending all of his first half kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.

Purnell added a second quarter touchdown, connecting with Zarold Wilder from seven-yards out, while Thompson found Tray Fletcher in the corner of the end zone on a fade route for the half's final score, giving the Indians a 33-0 lead heading into the locker room.

After the game McEachern coach Kyle Hockman was still looking for areas in which his squad can improve.

"We missed some red zone opportunities in the first half when we had to settle for field goals" said Hockman. "I'm thankful for the talented players that we have on this team, because it's going to get tougher each week, and we'll see how things go after this off week coming up."

McEachern didn't lose any energy during the intermission, as Fletcher took the second half's opening kickoff 98 yards to the end zone, putting Campbell down 40-0 less than 20 seconds into the third quarter.

The Indians added long touchdown runs of 49 and 58 yards from Chris Nwagbara and Mike Sherman, before letting their foot off the gas at 54-0 heading into the game's final quarter.

The Spartans refused to end the night without giving their home crowd something to cheer about though, and after getting a 50-yard kickoff return from Khaleel Williams, Edmonds took his team on a seven-play, 40-yard drive culminating in a 16 yard pass to Matt Cotton, who made a spectacular one-handed catch on the goal line to put Campbell on the scoreboard.

Campbell head coach TK Dodd tried to focus on the positives for his team after the game. "Matt gave an unbelievable effort on that touchdown in the 4th quarter, and I like the spirit I saw in the second half." said Dodd, praising his players. "But the bottom line is, (McEachern) is a very, very good football team. They have a great program and they represent everything that we want to be." As for the rest of the season, Dodd says a lot is yet to be determined. "We played some really tough teams in these first 4 games" Dodd added. "It's still hard to tell what kind of team we've got. We're going to find out in the rest of the season if we really have any "fight" left, and I think my kids will prove that they do."

As for the remaining goals for McEachern in 2010, Hockman maintains a one game at a time kind of approach. "We have a long way to go. Rankings and statistics don't mean anything until you do something in the playoffs. The teams ahead of us in the polls have all made a lot of noise in the postseason and won state championships, so we really can't say much because we haven't done that in a long time."

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - McEachern scores in bunches in victory at Campbell


September 3 - McEachern vs. Marietta

Results: McEachern 52 - Marietta 24

Recap: (by the Marietta Daily Journal)

Indians romp in final quarter
by Carlton D. White

MARIETTA - Clinging to a seven-point lead after Marietta's Chris Tolar hit a field goal early in the fourth quarter, McEachern scored 21 unanswered points to stake them a 52-24 non-region victory Friday at Northcutt Stadium.

McEachern's Marquis Roberts scored the second of his two touchdowns on a 1-yard run with 9:30 on the clock. Then, following a Marietta punt, Dondre Purnell found Amba Etta-Tawo on a 22-yard touchdown pass to extend McEachern's lead to 45-24 with 7:06 left in the game.

A turnover gave McEachern first-and-10 at the Blue Devils' 24-yard line and, two plays later, Trent Thompson connected with Chris Okpala for a 26-yard score for a 52-24 advantage with 3:13 left in the game.

The fifth-ranked Indians (2-1) evened the all-time series with rival Marietta at 11-11-1 and prevented the Blue Devils (1-2) from winning their first home game under new coach Scott Burton.

The 52 points allowed by Marietta is the most for the program since at least 1948.

"We just stayed away from mistakes," McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. "Mistakes that we made gave them life early on and we managed to limit those late in the game."

On first-and-10 at the Indians' 30 following Tolar's field goal, Zarold Wilder ran 58 yards to the Blue Devils' 12 before a 10-yard scamper from Chris Nwagbara set up Roberts' touchdown.

A 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on Marietta after its 23-yard punt set up McEachern with first-and-10 at the Blue Devils' 31. Three plays later, Purnell found Etta-Tawo for the 14-point lead fourth-quarter lead.

After Marietta fumbled the ball on its next possession, Darius English recovered it at the Blue Devils' 24, setting up Thompson's pass to Okpala that put McEachern up by 21.

Before the Indians' late run, Marietta played McEachern almost neck-and-neck.

The Indians scored on their first drive of the game when Purnell found Rory Anderson for a 12-yard touchdown pass. DeNard Ford intercepted Derrick Sutton's pass on Marietta's first possession to set up Zarold Wilder for a 16-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 first-quarter McEachern lead.

A bad punt on the Indians' next possession gave Marietta first-and-10 at the Indians' 20. Anthony Jennings capped a five-play, 20-yard drive with a 3-yard pass to Dorian McMickens, cutting McEachern's advantage to 14-7 in the second quarter.

Marietta's Johnell Gipson blocked a punt and returned it 20 yards to tie the game at 14-all, but McEachern responded with an eight-play, 76-yard drive, which included Roberts' 30-yard run down to the 1. He punched it in for a 21-14 Indian's lead that held until halftime.

The Blue Devils opened the second half using a no-huddle offense, which resulted in a 39-yard touchdown run from Jennings that tied the contest at 21-all.

Jaloni Wells intercepted Jennings on Marietta's next possession, and concurrent 15-yard Marietta unsportsmanlike penalties issued on the play gave McEachern the ball. Chris Davis cashed in on first-and-goal from the 6 for a 28-21 lead, and a 41-yard field goal from Nicholas St. Germain gave the Indians a 31-21 lead with 4:04 remaining in the third.

Marietta's Miles Williams recovered a fumble that eventually led to third-and-1 from the Indians' 5-yard line, but a false-start penalty and 10-yard sack turned a Blue Devils' scoring opportunity into a 37-yard field goal that made the score 31-24 with 11:13 left to play.

"That was a pretty crucial point in the game," Burton said. "McEachern is way too good to help them out like that. We're a young group that's not used to the big moments and the big stages like this, and as coaches, we need to do a better job of preparing out guys for this."

Wilder rushed 17 times for 145 yards and a touchdown for McEachern and Roberts had three carries for 32 yards and two touchdowns. Purnell was 4-of-8 passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns, while Thompson was 9-of-17 for 124 yards and a score. Anderson led all receivers with six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Anthony Jennings rushed 13 times for 105 yards and a touchdown to lead Marietta. He was also 9-of-22 for 97 yards with a touchdown and an interception. McMickens had five catches for 48 yards and a score.

"Marietta had a good game plan," Hockman said. "They were aggressive on both sides of the ball and their quarterback is one heck of a player."

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Indians romp in final quarter


September 3 - McEachern vs. Lowndes

Results: McEachern 23 - Lowndes 22

Recap: (by the Marietta Daily Journal)

On night of fallen friend's jersey retirement, Indians make him proud with rally to victory

POWDER SPRINGS - With McEachern trailing by five, and only 8 seconds left, Rajaan Bennett's presence could be felt throughout Walter Cantrell Stadium.

And then it happened.

Quarterback Dondre Purnell scored a touchdown with 3 seconds left, withstanding a helmet-to-helmet collision with Lowndes' Chris Scurry at the pylon. The 2-point conversion failed, and the Vikings couldn't secure the miracle they needed, giving ninth-ranked McEachern a dramatic 23-22 win over No. 2 Lowndes.

The victory set off a tremendous celebration from the Indians' faithful, who stormed the field, many with five fingers raised in the air to symbolize the memory of Bennett, the former McEachern running back killed in a shooting in February.

Before the game, the school retired Bennett's No. 5 jersey, and his spirit lived on during Friday's game.

"Oh, yeah, that's my man," Purnell said on whether he could feel Bennett's presence on his rushing touchdown run. "I love him. I love him."

Purnell turned a busted pass play on second-and-goal with 8 seconds left into a 9-yard touchdown run to put the Indians in front by one.

His score capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive that took 2:10 off the clock and included a 48-yard pass to Chris Davis on third-and-10 at the Indians' 20, keeping the possession going.

McEachern (1-1) mixed six running and five passing plays on the drive and made three third-down conversions before the go-ahead score.

"It was definitely the offensive line," said Purnell, who rushed eight times for 19 yards and a touchdown and was 8-of-14 in the air for 220 yards and a touchdown. "The offensive line and our receivers helped me out. (Davis') completion was big because it got us close enough to the end zone where we knew we could score."

It was a critical drive for McEachern, which gave up a 17-16 lead following a nine-play, 80-yard Lowndes drive capped by a 5-yard touchdown run from Sam Duncan. The Vikings (2-1) received help on a 15-yard pass interference penalty on third-and-6 that gave Lowndes an automatic first down at its 39-yard line.

Duncan, who carried the ball 14 times for 82 yards and a touchdown, and Troy Braswell, who rushed 15 times for 54 yards and touchdown, were key for the Vikings on their final possession.

Duncan's touchdown put Lowndes in front 22-17 with 2:13 left in the game, but the Vikings could not score on the 2-point conversion, setting up the Indians' final drive.

"We've done this a few times," McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. "Our kids are poised, and I give them a lot of credit. They're a heck of a football team. As long as we give that effort and keep believing in the things that Rajaan believed in, then we'll be OK.

"Dondre has the kind of capabilities where he can throw it and run it. We just wanted some continuity, not that (quarterback) Trent (Thompson) was any different, but we just wanted continuity. Obviously, he did a heck of a job, and we had several of our running backs and receivers do a great job. It was a lot of fun. We've been in this situation before, so it's something that you do and rely on in practice. Just go make your plays and know what to do and how to do it."

McEachern scored on its first possession of the game, going 80 yards on three plays, capped by a 60-yard touchdown run from Chris Nwagbara.

A failed punt attempt gave Lowndes great field position at the McEachern 8, setting up Braswell's 1-yard touchdown rung with 11:52 left in the second quarter.

The Vikings took a 14-7 lead after Cole Parker connected with Josh Clemons for a 20-yard touchdown with 2:19 remaining until halftime.

McEachern failed to score on its next possession, but got the ball back again with 49 seconds left after Edward Thomas recovered a fumble at the Indians' 35-yard line. Amba Etta-Tawo, who had four catches for 89 yards, made receptions of 15 and 33 yards to set up a 34-yard field goal from Nicholas St. Germain as time expired and McEachern trailing 14-10 at halftime.

Lowndes recorded a safety on the Indians' first possession of the second half to take extend its lead to 16-10, but Purnell found Victor Brannon open for a 58-yard touchdown on McEachern's next drive, giving the Indians a 17-16 advantage.

Lowndes nearly answered with a nine-play drive that stalled at McEachern's 19-yard line. Jed Solomon attempted a 36-yard field goal on fourth-and-9, but Soloman was pressured into kick the ball left, helping the Indians maintain their one-point lead with 10:10 remaining in the game.

McEachern punted on its next possession, giving the ball back to Lowndes with 6:37 on the clock. The Vikings scored on Duncan's run, but McEachern had their 12th man, No. 5, on their side.

"I think (Rajaan's) been with us for several months now," Hockman said. "He definitely lifts and helps us during those tough times, because we know there's much more tougher things than football."


August 21 - McEachern vs. Peactree Ridge

Results: McEachern 21 - Peactree Ridge 24

Recap: (by the Marietta Daily Journal)

Behind a solid wall of blue and gold, McEachern’s Dondre Purnell makes a throw against Peachtree Ridge in Saturday’s Corky Kell Classic finale.  <br>Staff photo by Laura Moon
Behind a solid wall of blue and gold, McEachern’s Dondre Purnell makes a throw against Peachtree Ridge in Saturday’s Corky Kell Classic finale.
Staff photo by Laura Moon
ATLANTA - First the game was going to overtime, then it wasn't.

Peachtree Ridge called a timeout just prior to a successful 47-yard field goal attempt by McEachern's Nicholas St. Germain, meaning the Indians still trailed by three with 7 seconds to play.

When St. Germain tried it again, the kick sailed wide left.

The timeout and missed kick capped a wild fourth quarter that saw the teams combine for 24 points, albeit 17 by the Lions, who posted a 24-21, come-from-behind victory in the final game of the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome.

The win left Cobb County with a 1-3 record on the day and left McEachern (0-1) wondering what happened as a game that seemed to always be in its control quickly turned in favor of Peachtree Ridge (1-0).

McEachern held a 14-7 lead heading to the final period, and it appeared ready to pin the Lions deep in their own territory on fourth down. But instead of lining up to punt on fourth-and-3 from the Peachtree Ridge 42, the Indians decided to go for it.

As quarterback Trent Thompson took the snap and turned from center, he was hit from behind. He could not get enough strength on his pitch to Zarold Wilder and the ball fluttered in the air.

Tyler Botts plucked the ball out of the air and returned it 58 yards for the tying touchdown with 11:01 left in the game.

After McEachern punted on the ensuing possession, it took Peachtree Ridge only five plays to find the end zone again, this time on a 1-yard plunge by Billy Best that gave the Lions their first lead of the game, 21-14, at the 6:40 mark.

That lead only lasted about as long as it took the Lions to get it.

On the first play from scrimmage, Wilder took the handoff, went up the middle, broke a tackle and outraced the Lions' defense to the end zone for a 73-yard touchdown run.

Wilder would finish the game with 164 yards on 25 carries.

That 22-second scoring drive tied the game again, this time 21-21.

Peachtree Ridge took the following kickoff and started an 11-play, 68-yard drive that would end with a 29-yard field goal by Justin Watts.

The kick did more than give the Lions the lead, it took more than 4:30 off the clock and left the Indians with only 2:01 to try and get the tying score.

In the end, they did, only to find out they didn't.

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Indians stunned after re kick



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