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Chattahoochee claims Class AAAA title

POSTED: December 10, 2010 11:20 p.m.

ATLANTA — Senior quarterback Timmy Byerly accounted for 220 yards and his 51st touchdown as unbeaten Chattahoochee won its first state title, blanking Starr's Mill 24-0 in the Class AAAA championship game Friday night at the Georgia Dome.

Byerly, who finished with 30 passing touchdowns and 21 on the ground this season, scored on a 3-yard run and had 108 yards rushing to go with 112 passing. The Cougars, in their 20th season, had made it as far as the semifinals just once previously, losing to Brunswick in 1999.

Chattahoochee (15-0) held previously unbeaten Starr's Mill (14-1) to nine first downs and outgained the Panthers 318 yards to 195. It was the Cougars' first shutout of the season.

Chase Nelson and Kane Whitehurst also scored touchdowns for Chattahoochee, and Ammon Lakip kicked a 50-yard field goal. Byerly was 7 for 12 passing, with four passes going to Whitehurst for 83 yards.

Lakip put the Cougars ahead with his field goal midway in the first quarter and Byerly made it 10-0 with his touchdown run early in the second quarter.

The field goal was Lakip's 14th of the season and just a yard short of his longest for the year. He booted a 51-yarder to beat Marist 31-28 in the second round of the playoffs and a 27-yarder in the semifinals as time expired to edge Statesboro 22-21.

The only scoring threat for Starr's Mill ended with Ryan Nowicki's missed field goal try from 43 yards out shortly before halftime.

Nelson made it 17-0 after the second-half kickoff, capping an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring run for the Cougars. The drive featured a 32-yard run by Byerly and his 27-yard pass to Whitehurst.

Whitehurst scored on a 12-yard run early in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

The Cougars dropped down in classification this season after going 3-7 and 4-6 the past two years in Class AAAAA. Starr's Mill also had a bounce-back year under new coach Chad Phillips after going 14-17 the previous three seasons.


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