In a must-win game on Friday night, the Norcross Blue Devils came from a 13-10 first-half deficit to hold visiting Mill Creek scoreless in the second-half on the way to a 27-13 victory. The Hawks are winless in eight games all-time with the Devils. Both teams are now 3-2 overall, but the win improves the Blue Devils region mark to 2-1, while dropping the Hawks to 1-2 in the region.
Josh Boyd put Norcross on top for good with a 59-yard touchdown run with 8:30 left in the third quarter, and then Blake Bingham was good on a 33-yard field goal try about four minutes into the final quarter to push the lead to 10, 20-13. After the Norcross D held Mill Creek on a fourth and short from their own 16 with about 2 minutes remaining to get the ball back for their offense, AJ Bush scored the final TD of the night on a 13-yard dash around the right side to lock up the big win.
Boyd totaled 112 yards rushing on 15 carries and a touchdown to lead the Norcross ground attack, while Bush had 97 yards on 17 attempts. He also went 12-of-20 for 90 yards passing with a TD. Clinton Lynch led the receivers with seven catches for 41 yards and a score. Bingham was good on field goals of 41 and 23 yards.
The Hawks had rushing by committee with six players getting touches. DeVozea Felton had the most yards, 58 on six carries, while Carter Governale had the most carries, 14 for 51 yards. QB Daniel David had eight completions in 20 attempts for 95 yards with a TD. Felton was the only Hawk with more than one catch on the game with two for 25 yards.
Mill Creek played hard, but has now lost back-to-back games to two of the top-tier teams in Region 7 of Class AAAAAA (Peachtree Ridge and Norcross) after starting the season 3-0, and appear to be an above average team in region, but not yet ready to beat the top teams. They will continue to improve as they are a young squad, and they have proven they have the heart it takes to continue to work and get better.
Norcross needed this win to set the tone for their final five games of the regular season. Of the five teams still to play, only Collins Hill (4-0, 2-0) and Peachtree Ridge (5-0, 3-0) will be able to challenge the Devils. The other three opponents are a combined 1-7 in region, 1-13 overall, and will not present much of a threat.
North Gwinnett (4-0, 2-0) and Norcross are the only two of the top four teams in the region that have already met on the field, and the Bulldogs win gives them the early advantage of being 1-0 in games against the other big four, and it was a road win. A loss against Mill Creek at home would have put Norcross in a bigger hole in the battle for the region title.
Examiner Region 7 rankings after Week 6 action:
- North Gwinnett
- Peachtree Ridge
- Collins Hill
- Mill Creek
- Mountain View
- Habersham Central
Watch for the complete Gwinnett Football Week 6 review on Monday.
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