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Photo by Jon Barash
Photo by Jon Barash

Taylor Heinicke has thrown for over 3000 yards this season and has set a new single-season touchdown record for Gwinnett County. Friday night the Collins Hill quarterback was hit early and often and didn’t pass for his typical 300 yards or toss his 3+ touchdowns, but his one score was enough as the Eagles beat Woodstock 7-3. The Eagles, hosting a playoff game for the first time since 2005, donned black jerseys and looked good early, as Heinicke connected with Nick England on a 67-yard touchdown connection with three minutes to go in the first. That would end the scoring for Collins Hill though as the defense took over. The Eagles’ defense, coached by defensive coordinator Larry Massey kept the Eagles’ opponent out of the endzone for the fourth straight game as Woodstock managed just one third-quarter field goal.

Late in the first half, Woodstock drove into Collins Hill territory and seemingly reached the three-yard line, but a formation call erased a deep pass and the half ended with a failed Hail Mary short of the Woodstock endzone. In the second half, Woodstock held the ball for most of the quarter before a Wolverine touchdown was wiped away on a downfield holding call. Woodstock had to settle for a 47-yard Jonathan Wiener field goal with 7:19 left in the third quarter. Neither team could scratch together anymore points as neither squad reached the opposition’s redzone.

Now Collins Hill will advance to face Roswell, who won on a last-second field goal. The Eagles’ win wasn’t impressive stat-wise, but for this team and its quarterback leader, the win itself was huge. Heinicke said in a recent interview with GPB Sports Central XL that he only cares about his team’s record. The team is now 1-0 in the playoffs and have a real shot against a team it beat 13-9 to start the season. Both of these teams have changed since the season-opener, but next week it will be a season-finale for one of them.