The first six games of the season were filled mostly with frustration for Apalachee, but on Friday, Oct. 30, the Wildcats dominated from start to finish and had a chance to smile.
Apalachee scored on all but the last of its eight possessions on the night and rolled to a 45-0 shutout of Johnson High School in Gainesville to pick up its first win of the season.
The Wildcats (1-6, 1-3 GHSA Region 8-AAAAA) rolled up 473 yards of offense — 375 on the ground — and scored 38 first-half points to initiate a running clock after the break. They also limited the Knights (0-8, 0-5) to 92 total yards and just four first downs and came up with a pair of interceptions on the defensive end.
About the only significant highlight of the night for Johnson came on the opening kickoff when the Knights recovered an onside kick at the Apalachee 49. But after a three-and-out, the Wildcats quickly traveled 84 yards on just five plays with Jacob McCluskey’s 12-yard touchdown run putting his team in front early.
Apalachee needed just one snap on its second possession of the game as Colby Sikes weaved in and out of traffic for a 59-yard touchdown run. Sikes then got open and caught a pass in the flat from Todd Jones for a 26-yard touchdown two plays into the Wildcats’ next drive to make it 21-0 with 1:45 left in the first quarter.
Jakobe Hudson and Isaiah Starks added touchdown runs of 18 and 28 yards, respectively, in the second quarter, and Brody Ham booted a 33-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. Hudson tacked on one more touchdown run — from seven yards out — late in the third quarter.
Starks led the Wildcats in rushing with 114 yards on just seven carries and a touchdown. Sikes finished with 90 yards on the ground on just five carries with a touchdown and had two receptions for 51 yards and a score. McCluskey finished with 64 yards on five carries and a touchdown; Hudson had 25 yards and scored on both of his carries; Channin Daniels had four carries for 33 yards; and Prince Tate finished with 29 yards on three touches. Jones was 6-of-7 passing for 98 yards and a touchdown.
With the win, the Wildcats remained alive in the playoff hunt, but will need wins in at least two of their final three games and likely all three.
Apalachee travels to Walnut Grove on Nov. 6 for another region matchup.
WBHS GAME AT CENTRAL GWINNETT POSTPONED
For the second time this season, Winder-Barrow had a game postponed for coronavirus-related reasons concerning its opponent.
The Bulldoggs were scheduled to visit Central Gwinnett in Lawrenceville for a key Region 8-AAAAAA game Friday, but the contest was postponed Thursday after multiple Black Knights tested positive for COVID-19.
The game has now been moved to Monday, Nov. 9, putting the Bulldoggs (2-4, 1-2 region) in a situation where they will play three games in nine days. They’ll host Salem in a non-region matchup at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5. That game will serve as a replacement for a game at Cedar Shoals earlier this year that was canceled after a handful of Jaguar players developed coronavirus symptoms.
After the trip to Lawrenceville on Nov. 9, the Bulldoggs will travel to Buford on Nov. 13.
KNIGHTS COME UP SHORT AT TJA
After falling behind 21-0 at halftime, Bethlehem Christian Academy put together a fourth-quarter rally but came up just short in a 27-21 loss at Thomas Jefferson Academy in Louisville on Friday.
The Knights (2-5) were playing in their third game in eight days and were coming a 69-0 blowout of Notre Dame Academy on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Senior quarterback Ethan Guthas led BCA offensively on Friday, completing 10 of 14 passes for 119 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Senior running back Chad Norwood had 48 yards on seven carries, caught a touchdown pass from Guthas and also blocked a punt that teammate Johnny Dickinson recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. Junior Ty Whiting also had a touchdown reception.
But the Jaguars rolled up 361 yards on the ground to power their way to victory. Trevor Slaick led the Knights' defense with 16 tackles, Chandler Cavoretto had 12 and Jay Fulford had 10. Joshua Adams had a fumble recovery for BCA.
The Knights will open GISA Region 4-AAA play Friday, Nov. 6, when they host perennial powerhouse John Milledge Academy at 7:30 p.m. The Trojans (5-0), the defending Class AAA champs, have won 18 straight games and 30 of their last 31.