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Rookie SF skipper makes dent in list with 1st Region win

Rookie SF skipper makes dent in list with 1st Region win
Rookie SF skipper makes dent in list with 1st Region win

South Fulton’s Jonathan Avent runs for a touchdown during his team’s victory over West Carroll Friday night.
The “to do” list got much shorter on Friday for new South Fulton head coach Kelly Spivey
For starters, the rookie mentor got his first victory — a 33-20 decision over West Carroll.
However, that’s not all by a longshot. With the win, SF snapped a 14-game losing streak in Region 7-1A action that dated back to Week 10 of the 2005 season.
Furthermore, the Big Red beat a Tennessee school for the first time since the aforementioned evening.
And, to add even a little more celebration topping on the victory cake, SF downed the War Eagles for the first time since 2001.
“I keep thinking someone needs to pinch me,” Spivey said afterward. “This is a dream come true to win in a first game as a head coach. I told the guys after the game to celebrate this one for a little while tonight, but that we’ll be back in early on Saturday morning to watch the film.
“Still, I think it’s been a long time since this community has witnessed something as we did after the game tonight.”
What Spivey was referring to was the South Fulton faithful lining both sides of the gate that leads to the local field to congratulate the victorious Red Devils as they were leaving the playing surface and heading to the locker room.
And there were plenty of reasons to cheer during the game, as well.
Junior running back Jonathan Avent had a breakout night with 182 rushing yards on 14 carries and a touchdown as he keyed a very efficient SF offense that made its way to the end zone five times with proficient drives of 45, 81, 62, 58 and 49 yards.
“Our offense was very efficient tonight,” Spivey bragged after the win. “Our fullbacks ran powerfully, we protected the football, Corbin Hawks did a great job of managing the huddle in his first real game experience and Avent gave us the performance we needed out of him.”
The Redmen will now look to win back-to-back games for the first time since midway through the ’05 season when they host Ballard Memorial on Friday. Last year, SF’s only victory came over the Bombers in the form of a 26-19 decision.
Against West Carroll, the third offensive series of the season turned out to be the charm for the Redmen.
During that third drive, the Red Devils reached the end zone when it was do-or-die time.
On 4th-and-11 at the War Eagles’ 30-yard-line, the locals opted for a bit of trickery.
Hawks handed off to fullback Skylar Cherry, who was running a reverse route, and he was met by Avent with the exchange between the two backs fumbled.
Avent picked up his own fumble and he proceeded to adjust, going the distance down the home team’s sideline for the touchdown.
The next memorable moment for the Devils came in the second quarter when Hawks — who starred as a split end last season — connected with Alex Gallien for his first TD pass, a 19-yard offering with 5:05 remaining in the first half.
Down 12-0, WC finally cut into the locals lead with just seven seconds remaining before intermission. Travis Myles dove in from one yard out to cap a 13-play, 54-yard drive that cut SF’s advantage in half at 12-6 with two quarters complete.
South Fulton’s only offensive series of the third quarter was its best of the evening. The drive began with Holden McConnell taking the first two hand-offs for gains of nine and two yards, respectively, and a first down.
Then, Avent ran three consecutive times for a total of 29 yards, setting up a dive in from a yard out by Cherry.
Hawks attempted a pass on the two-point conversion effort, but it was no good with the locals ahead 18-6 with 5:40 remaining in the third.
SF put West Carroll away in the fourth quarter thanks to a pair of touchdowns within a two-minute span. One carry to the end zone was an 11-yarder by Cherry while the other was set up thanks to a forced fumble on the ensuing kickoff.
After Chance Barnes recovered the loose ball, Avent galloped 29 yards on the first play of the drive to set up the final score for SF.
On that touchdown run, fullback Jared Fowler bounced up the middle and it looked like he would have to beat two War Eagles in order to get to the goal line.
However, the 5-foot-7, 195-pound powerback decided that instead of going around the defenders, he would go through them as he romped his way into the end zone from 20 yards out to put South Fulton up comfortably 33-12.
The score signaled the end of the War Eagles’ chances, though the visitors did add another touchdown later in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, Cherry was a monster at linebacker with 11 stops while Hawks added six tackles from his perch at safety.