Augusta Christian tailback Cole Rabun attempts to get by a George Walton defender. Rabun couldn't find much running room. George Walton won 33-0.
Photo by Mike Howell
The Augusta Christian Schools football team had a good week of practice, and the Lions took a solid game plan into last Friday's showdown with George Walton Academy.
But when it came time for AC to defend its Region 1-AAA title, the Lions came up empty in Monroe, Ga.
The Bulldogs entered as the top-ranked Class AAA team in the Georgia Independent School Association, and proceeded to roll to a 33-0 victory to claim the region crown.
"This is probably one of those game films you'd like to take and pour some kerosene on," Augusta Christian coach Bruce Lane said. "This is definitely not an indication of what kind of football team we have. I choose to believe that our kids will view this as a wake-up call and will get better."
Augusta Christian will be at home Friday for a first-round Class AAA state playoff game, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. The Lions had to wait to find out who their opponent would be, because a three-way playoff was held Monday between Deerfield Windsor, Southland Academy and Westfield to determine seedings from Region 3-AAA.
With the win over AC, George Walton capped a 10-0 regular season, while the Lions dropped to 8-2.
Augusta Christian committed six turnovers, and the Bulldogs seemed to capitalize on every mistake.
The Lions appeared to score a touchdown late in the first half, but Cole Rabun's run was called back on a holding penalty. George Walton took possession, and running back Chris Wallace raced for a 72-yard score to give the Dogs a 12-0 lead at the half.
Augusta Christian's Dan Wiley tackles George Walton runner Cole Cown during last week's contest in Monroe.
Photo by Mike Howell
"There was a 13-point turnaround at the end of the first half," Lane said. "We were celebrating going up 7-6, and we failed to see the yellow laundry on the field. Instead of having a lead at the half, it was 12-0. That took some wind out of our sails."
AC was further deflated in the third quarter, as the Lions fumbled the ball away on the opening possession of the second half. George Walton tacked on another touchdown, and the rout was on.
Augusta Christian's goal of winning the region title is gone, but Lane says his players will attempt to refocus and capture a bigger prize - the GISA Class AAA state championship.
"Our kids work really hard, and they'll bounce back," Lane said. "It's just a matter of regrouping and getting our kids to forget about this one (in Monroe). The other thing about losing is that I think other teams might write us off a little bit. That's OK. We may be able to sneak up on some folks."
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