The Stephens County Indian football team suffers its first loss of the 2012 season.
Chestatee ran for more than 200 yards in the second half and scored twice in less than four minutes in the fourth quarter to come from behind and beat Stephens County 24-20 Friday night at the Reservation.
Trailing 14-10 with just under six minutes to play, Jordan DeGraff ran 47 yards for Chestatee to give the War Eagles a 17-14 lead. Then after an interception, A.J. Sijiye (see-gee) scored on an 8-yard touchdown run to make it 24-14.
The Indians scored on a Dionte Mayfield to Elijah Barnes 11-yard touchdown pass to cut it to 24-20 after the missed extra point, but Chestatee recovered the onside kick to seal the win.
Stephens County Head Coach Travis Noland said Chestatee played a very good game.
“We knew all week long that they were a very good football team and very talented, big, and physical,” said Noland. “They whipped us up front defensively. We could not move the ball offensively at all most of the night. Then, the thing about the triple option is that we got so worried about the dive that the quarterback was hurting us bad in the second half. But our kids played hard. One game does not make a season. It is a tough loss, but hopefully we will bounce back from it.”
Chaz Thornton ran for 108 yards on 30 carries for the Indians, scoring two touchdowns, while Barnes finished the game with four catches for 77 yards and the late touchdown to lead the Stephens County aerial attack.
DeGraff had 145 rushing yards and two touchdowns for Chestatee, along with 92 passing yards.
The Indians struck first, with Thornton scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 with less than five minutes to go in the first half.
Chestatee cut it to 7-3 at halftime as Jose Zamora hit a 31-yard field goal on the last play of the first half.
The War Eagles put the Indians behind for the first time all year early in the fourth quarter on DeGraff’s first touchdown run, a four-yarder.
Stephens County answered right back with a Thornton 7-yard touchdown run to take a 14-10 lead with seven minutes to go. The key play on that drive was a 48-yard pass from Mayfield to Barnes.
It was at that point though that Chestatee scored the decisive touchdowns.
Stephens County is now 4-1 on the season and 1-1 in the region, while Chestatee is 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the region.
The Indians are off next week and will travel to Monroe Area on October 12 for its next game.
In other 8-AAAA action, Monroe Area beat Lanier 33-20, Eastside beat Madison County 42-14, and Lumpkin County edged Walnut Grove 13-12.
Elsewhere, Habersham Central fell to Peachtree Ridge 30-7 and Hart County beat Franklin County 45-19.
Player of the Game: Elijah Barnes
Lineman of the Game: Gary Walker
Sub of the Game: Brandon Ballenger
Spirit Award: Josh Tate