The Stephens County Indian football team clinches a state playoff berth.
The Indians defeated Eastside 23-7 Friday night at the Reservation on Senior Night.
When coupled with Lanier’s 24-7 win over Lumpkin County, Friday’s results guaranteed Stephens County one of the top four spots out of Region 8-AAAA to move onto the state playoffs later this month.
Stephens County Head Coach Travis Noland said it was a hard-fought win.
“It was a good team win,” said Noland. “We knew all week long it was going to be a four-yard and a cloud of dust game plan and take our shots when we felt like could throwing the football. Our kids bought into it. We beat a very good, physical football team.”
Chaz Thornton had more than 160 yards rushing and a touchdown on 40-plus carries for Stephens County, while Tomas Colbert caught two Dionte Mayfield touchdown passes to provide the Indian scoring.
With his rushing yardage, it appears as if Thornton has both passed the 6,000 yard career rushing mark, as well as the high school rushing total of Herschel Walker, moving into the top 15 for career rushing yardage in Georgia.
Eastside struck first, scoring on a Jamondi Smith 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead.
Stephens County tied the game at 7 with about eight minutes left in the first half on a Chaz Thornton 7-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one.
Following an Eastside punt, Colbert caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to give the Indians a 14-7 lead with about four minutes left in the second quarter.
An Eastside fumble set up Stephens County’s next score via a 27-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to Colbert to make it 21-7 in favor of the Indians.
Stephens County extended its lead to 23-7 with a safety on a bad snap on an Eastside punt attempt with less than a minute to go until halftime.
Neither team scored in the second half.
The win moves Stephens County to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the region, while Eastside falls to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the region.
The Indians will finish either third or fourth in the region depending on next week’s results.
In other Region 8-AAAA action, Monroe Area clinched the region title with a 35-14 win over Chestatee. Chestatee will finish second. In the other region game, Madison County beat Walnut Grove 32-31.
Around the area, Habersham Central finished its season 1-9 with a 49-0 loss to Mill Creek, Franklin County beat East Jackson 41-21, and Hart County lost to Morgan County 35-8.
Player of the Game: Jordan Williams
Lineman of the Game: Halston Henderson
Sub of the Game: Dustin Bivins
Spirit Award: Micah Oglesby