The Stephens County Indian football season comes to a close.
The Indians lost 40-7 to Carrollton on the road Friday in the first round of the AAAA football playoffs. Carrollton ran for well over 200 yards on the night and added another 150 yards passing, while holding the Indian offense to under 150 total yards on the night.
Stephens County Indian Head Coach Travis Noland said it is a tough way to end the season.
“I am just very disappointed for our kids and how we played tonight,” said Noland. “We had some opportunities that we could not execute on. Just disappointed to come here and play the way we did and not play any better than we did. But, hats off to Carrollton. They have a great program.”
Carrollton jumped out early on the Indians, taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on touchdown runs of 55 yards by Jarvis Terrell and 5 yards by Dan Harris.
The Indians got on the board with eight minutes left in the first half on a 2-yard touchdown run by Chaz Thornton, cutting the Trojan lead to 14-7.
However, Carrollton answered right back, going 80 yards in 13 plays, while converting two third downs and a fourth down, before Malik Sheppard scored on a 23-yard run to make 21-7 with 1:41 left in the first half.
Carrollton then got the ball back with less than a minute to go in the first half and was able to add on a 28-yard field goal by Tyler Newsome to make it 24-7 at the half.
Neither offense got much going to start the second half, but Carrollton pinned the Indians deep in their own territory and got a safety off of an intentional grounding call to make it 26-7 with 2:11 to go in the third quarter.
Two plays after the ensuing free kick, Will Hesterlee found Trey Chivers (Shivers) for a 58-yard touchdown pass to make it 33-7 late in the third.
A Sheppard punt return to the Indian 2-yard-line set up Carrollton’s final score, a Harris touchdown run on the next play.
Chivers had 150 total yards running and receiving to lead Carrollton.
Meanwhile, Thornton had just over 60 yards rushing to lead Stephens County. Thornton finished the season with more than 1,500 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns.
The Indians finish the year 8-3. Besides Thornton’s year, Tomas Colbert ended the year with more than 1,100 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns, while Dionte Mayfield had 17 touchdown passes.
Carrollton moves to 8-3 on the year and will face Marist in the second round.
It was not a good night for Region 8-AAAA in the first round as only region champ Monroe Area advanced to the second round with a close 21-14 win over Shaw. Chestatee lost to LaGrange 59-46 and Eastside was shut out by Sandy Creek 55-0. Elsewhere in northeast Georgia, Hart County kept its season going with a 32-11 win over Adairsville, while Rabun County ended its year with a 56-29 loss to Heard County.
Player of the Game: Chaz Thornton
Lineman of the Game: Casey Dickerson
Sub of the Game: Darrin Crawford
Spirit Award: Devin Burns