Creekside comes from behind, defeats Starr's Mill 11-9

Fri, 09/14/2007 - 10:28pm
By: Kevin Wandra
Creekside has Starr’s Mill’s number.

The Seminoles came from behind Friday to defeat Starr’s Mill for the second straight season, 11-9 in the teams' Region 2-AAAA opener in the Swamp in Fairburn.

The Seminoles, led by Eric Berry, who is now playing at Tennessee, beat Starr’s Mill 28-13 last year. Creekside didn’t need Berry in the highly anticipated rematch.

Creekside was down 9-0 entering the final quarter, but Rodriguez Price's 4-yard touchdown run with 10:38 remaining and Starr's Mill's decision to have its punter, Chris Ward, run backwards and take a safety from its own 12-yard line trimmed the Panthers' lead to 9-8 with 2 minutes to go.

Price then returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards to the Starr's Mill 9-yard line. Four plays later, Zack Amey kicked a 22-yard field goal to put Creekside ahead 11-9 with 33.5 seconds left.

Starr’s Mill still had one last chance to come back.

Quarterback Matt Sweat began Starr’s Mill’s ensuing, and final, drive with a 25-yard pass to Dan Ellis to advance the ball to the Creekside 46.

Sweat then threw two straight incompletions. With 3.4 seconds remaining, Sam Martin trotted onto the field to attempt a potential game-winning 64-yard field goal, but his kick fell far short as time expired.

It was a defensive slugfest all night.

Starr's Mill's defense broke a scoreless tie early in the second half, when outside linebacker Stephen Roberts grabbed Creekside running back Terence Tinch by the jersey after Tinch caught a swing pass from Brian Odom and tossed Tinch into the end zone for a safety.

Following Panthers defensive back Ken Jackson’s second interception of the night, Starr's Mill's scored its lone touchdown on an 11-yard pass from Matt Sweat to Jared Rose on a post pattern that gave the Panthers a 9-0 lead with 1:19 to go in the third quarter.

Both teams’ offenses struggled —— Starr's Mill finished with 183 total yards, Creekside 208 —— especially in the first half. Each team only had one prime opportunity to score in the first half, but both drives ended with turnovers.

Starr’s Mill drove to the Creekside 31-yard line on its opening drive, but running back Spencer Penson let the ball slip out of his hands after catching a Sweat swing pass on the run and Creekside defensive lineman David Ellerby recovered.

Late in the second quarter, Creekside’s offense moved the ball into Starr’s Mill territory, reaching the 24-yard line, but Jackson intercepted a pass from Jay Carter to end the drive.

Carter limped off the field with a right ankle injury in the third quarter and did not return. He was replaced by Brian Odom.

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