In State Title Game Rematch, Roswell Dominates Colquitt County, 34-3

Score by Qtr..
Colquitt County03003

by Ty Simons

ROSWELL—The Hornets built on their undefeated run so far this season as they triumphed over Colquitt County High School on Friday in a 34-3 blowout of the two-time defending state champions.

The matchup brought these two teams back together again in a reunion of last year’s State Championship game. Roswell ended its otherwise undefeated season that year at the Georgia Dome with a 30-13 loss to the Packers. This time around, though, Roswell got payback and then some. Friday’s game was the first time this season that the Hornets denied their opponents a single touchdown. It also marks Roswell’s largest margin of victory thus far this season.

The opening minutes of scrimmage were no blowout, though. Instead, these two giants of Georgia high school football sized each other up in an inch-for-inch battle. After trading possessions a few times, Roswell’s breakout came midway through the first quarter. In a lightning-quick drive of just under a minute and a half, senior Corey Reed took a rocket of a pass from senior QB Malik Willis 29 yards to the endzone for the first score of the game and a 6-0 lead. Colquitt looked to be well on the way to earning a touchdown of their own toward the end of the 1st with goal-to-go, but senior defensive lineman Max Boyd forced a fumble that was recovered by senior linebacker Mitch Stone to stop the Packer momentum and reverse the tide.

From the second quarter on out, senior running back Sheldon Evans added to the Hornets’ lead with a dominant ground game that lasted to the final whistle. He topped off a 47-yard run into Colquitt territory with a 23-yard reception from Willis for his first touchdown of the night and a 13-0 lead midway through the second period. Colquitt threatened to score again right before halftime after a Roswell fumble set the Packers up at the Hornets 4 yard line. An airtight defensive line, however, denied Colquitt the endzone and forced the Packers to settle for a field goal, their only score of the game.

In the third quarter, the Hornets first possession resulted in another touchdown, this time on a Willis scramble into the endzone from 13 yards out to bring the score to 20-3. Later in the third, Evans would score his second touchdown of the evening, this time from a 19-yard  burst up the middle right through the heart of the Packer defense to make the score 27-3. In the 4th period, Roswell would cap the scoring for the game at 34-3 when Evans once again blew through the Packer defense from 18 yards out for his third touchdown of the night.

As with every game so far this season, Roswell’s solid offense was backed up by equally impressive efforts on defense. In addition to the forced fumble and dominant goal line stand from the first half, the Hornets were able to force a Colquitt punt on fourth down with 34 yards to go, which was set up by a huge sack for a loss of 15 yards by junior linebacker Tyneil Hopper. Senior defensive lineman LaMon Titus and Sophomore defensive lineman Jajuan White kept the pressure up in the 4th by adding sacks of their own to the total and keeping the Colquitt County offense in check for the rest of the game.

Next week is a bye week, but after that the Hornets will hit the road, squaring off against Archer in Lawrenceville on Sept. 23. On Sept. 30th, Roswell heads to Milton to write another chapter in one of Georgia high school football’s greatest rivalries.

In Home Opener, Hornets Beat Central Gwinnett, 31-6

Score by Qtr..
Central Gwinnett00066

by Ty Simons

Roswell Takes Three TD Lead in First Quarter, Black Knights Never Catch Up

ROSWELL—The Hornets put another notch in the win column Friday as they comfortably defeated Central Gwinnett in the first home game of the regular season.

As it turns out, this matchup was decided in the opening minutes of scrimmage as Roswell built a three-score lead over Central Gwinnett. An air-tight Roswell defense that held the Black Knights to negative yardage in the first quarter preserved Roswell’s efforts on offense, which were led by senior quarterback Malik Willis and senior running back Sheldon Evans. Willis started things off with a 67-yard carry on Roswell’s first drive of the game. Building off of that play, Evans took the ball in from 3 yards out for the first touchdown of the game and a 7-0 lead.  On the Hornets’ next possession, he followed it up with another rushing touchdown, this time from 8 yards out to make the score 14-0.

Senior wide receiver Corey Reed caught his first touchdown pass of the season, a 27-yarder from Willis, to round out Roswell’s 21-0 domination of the first quarter. A scoreless second quarter saw a dramatic slow-down in the action, but Central Gwinnett appeared to be building some offensive momentum heading into the final half of the game.

The Black Knights did open the third quarter with a steady march up the field, but senior linebacker Sam DiRoberto managed to stop Central Gwinnett short at 4th and inches, forcing a punt on what could well have been a scoring drive. Meanwhile, the Roswell offense added some padding to their healthy lead over Central Gwinnett, with senior Turner Barckhoff connecting on a 39 yard field goal to bring the score to 24-0.

To end the game, the Hornets and Central Gwinnett each put a touchdown on the board in the fourth quarter. Roswell’s scoring drive was again commanded by Evans and Willis, with Evans bringing the line of scrimmage to the 9-yard line and Willis scrambling into the endzone to finish the job.

Looking forward, all eyes will be on the Hornets as they face off against Colquitt County on Sept. 9 in a rematch of last year’s State Championship game at the Georgia Dome. Roswell takes to the road after that on Sept. 24 as the Hornets meet Archer High School in Lawrenceville.  

Next Game vs. Milton


Varsity Schedule and Results

* Region 4-AAAAAAA Game

08/12/2016 Langston Hughes (preseason) 37 - 7 W
08/19/2016 @ Buford 24 - 7 W
09/02/2016 Central Gwinnett 31 - 6 W
09/09/2016 Colquitt County 34 - 3 W
09/23/2016 @ Archer 7:30 PM
09/30/2016 @ Milton 7:30 PM
10/07/2016 Lassiter* 7:30 PM
10/14/2016 @ Walton* 7:30 PM
10/21/2016 @ Etowah* 7:30 PM
10/28/2016 Woodstock* 7:30 PM
11/04/2016 Cherokee* 7:30 PM
2016 RHS Touchdown Club