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Monday, December 13, 2010 - 6:00am

Late Fumble Recovery Clinches Second Straight State Title for Patriots

The Creek preserved the streak.
Sandy Creek jumped out to a 14-0 first half lead and held on to defeat Carrollton for the Class AAA state title tonight at the Georgia Dome. The Trojans mustered a late drive deep into Patriot territory, but fell short when Jamal Ware caused running back Telvin Brown to fumble on the Creek one-yard line. Sandy Creek’s Quinteze Williams recovered on the eight-yard line and the Patriots would run out the clock for the win.
And their state-best winning streak - now at 29 games - was preserved.
In the first quarter, the Patriots took a 7-0 lead after running back Derrick Alexander toted the ball for 39 yards on five carries to bring his team to the CHS 4. Two plays later, quarterback Ronnie Bell carried the ball in from the three.
After stopping Carrollton two more times, the Patriots would score again behind more productive running from Alexander, who finished with 131 yards on 27 carries. The senior back took off on a 39-yard burst up the middle on third and 12 to give his team a first down on the CHS 20. After a completion to Cincinnati commitment Alex Chisum, Alexander ran the ball into the end zone from the seven and the Creek had a 14-0 lead.
It seemed like an insurmountable lead until just before the half when Trojan quarterback A.J. Barge hit his brother, Josh, for a 37-yard touchdown with just 36 seconds left. Suddenly, Carrollton was back in the game and had seized the momentum going into the break.
But a promising second half was wasted by the Trojans who had two notable opportunities in SCHS territory go for not. With 3:20 remaining in the third quarter, Alexander fumbled on his own 30 and the Trojans recovered. Carrollton advanced the ball as far as the SCHS eight-yard line, but failed on fourth down and two from the nine.
The Patriots had dodged a bullet.
They would survive again late in the fourth quarter when the Trojans drove 64 yards to the SCHS four in the waning moments of the game. But, faced with a 2nd and goal from the five, running back Telvin Brown printed off the left side of the line and reached for the goal line, where he was hit by Ware who jarred the ball loose. After a mad scramble, Williams emerged with the ball and Sandy Creek had the game seemingly well in hand.
Bell and Alexander rushed for a combined 55 yards on the next two plays to the CHS 39. But the Patriots were stopped on their next three plays and CHS stopped the clock after each play with timeouts. On fourth-and-eight, Bell heaved a deep ball down the right sideline for Chisum, who went up and made a spectacular catch. Replays showed that Chisum just got his foot inbounds after catching the ball and, now, the game was effectively over. Chisum finished with 72 yards on six catches.
Sandy Creek won their second consecutive state title, the program's only state championships. The Patriots have still not lost since the 2009 season opener.
Carrollton, meanwhile, saw one of their best seasons in recent memory end on the final day of football season. The Trojans still have to look back to 1998 to remember their last of seven state titles.

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