published Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Allatoona wins title in rout of Panthers

By Carlton D. White/Marietta Daily Journal

ACWORTH, Ga. -- It didn't take long for Allatoona to crown itself a champion.

The fourth-year program got a big boost from its ground game and stellar play from its defense in claiming its first Region 7-AAA championship with a 28-7 victory over Ridgeland on Friday.

Miles Jones rushed 27 times for 200 yards and two touchdowns for the Buccaneers (10-0), who completed the first undefeated regular season in school history and enter the state playoffs as a No. 1 seed.

Ridgeland (6-4), which was playing for its fourth straight region title and earned the No. 2 seed from the region, failed to convert a fake punt near midfield on its second possession after an open-field tackle from Mike Miller.

Allatoona converted the turnover into a seven-play, 48-yard scoring drive, capped by a 16-yard touchdown reception from Jeremy Uzee to Clarence Soleberry to take a 7-0 lead with seconds remaining in the first period.

Evan Courtney missed a 22-yard field goal on the Panthers' next possession, and an 18-yard punt on Ridgeland's fourth drive gave Allatoona first-and-10 at the Panthers' 36. One play later, Jones burst untouched through the middle of the Panthers' defense for a 34-yard touchdown.

Ridgeland managed only two first downs in the first half but finally got into a rhythm on its second drive in the third period.

A 22-yard run on third-and-7 from Trevor Long gave the Panthers a first down and a 15-yard penalty from Allatoona gave Ridgeland first-and-10 from the Buccaneers' 15. Two plays later, Darrell Bridges rushed in for a touchdown from 11 yards out to trim the deficit to 14-7 with 1:59 remaining in the frame.

Bridges rushed 19 times for 104 yards and a touchdown to lead Ridgeland, which will host the No. 3 seed from Region 8-AAA in the playoffs.

"There were two good football teams out there, but Allatoona wasn't 9-0 for nothing," Panthers coach Mark Mariakis said. "They're not region champs for nothing. They don't give those trophies away very easily. That was a very good football team. They present a lot of problems for a lot of teams. They get after you on defense and they're relentless on offense."

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.