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Lumpkin wins 31-6, narrows in on state playoff berth
Indians play Monroe Area next week for berth in state from Region 8-AAA
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Lumpkin County is one win away from returning to the state playoffs for the first time since 2003.

The Indians dominated Chestatee in a 31-6 victory Friday at War Eagles Stadium to clinch third place in Region 8A-AAA. Lumpkin will host Monroe Area next week, with the winner advancing to the state playoffs.

Lumpkin County (6-3, 3-3) was impressive in all three phases of the game against the struggling War Eagles (2-7, 0-5), who have now lost six straight.

The Indians blocked two punts and intercepted a pass in the first quarter. Kaylen Temples and Tyler Flatt were credited with the blocked punts, and Ian McIntosh collected the interception off a tipped pass.

The Indians didn't allow Chestatee to pick up its initial first down until late in the second quarter. The War Eagles were limited to 5 yards of offense in the first half.

Meanwhile, Lumpkin started its first three drives inside the Chestatee 35-yard line and built a 21-0 lead on Michael Flanagan's 1-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. Taylor Burns kicked a 35-yard field goal to extend the lead to 24-0 with 25 seconds to go in the first half.

Chestatee's Quan Clark returning the ensuing kickoff 85 yards to the Lumpkin 10, but with only one second left in the half, the War Eagles had time for just one play. Scott Chewning's pass was batted down in the end zone to end Chestatee's only legitimate scoring opportunity in the first half.

"I thought we played very good, assignment football on defense against a good Chestatee offense," Indians' coach Tommy Jones said. "Overall, we responded well after last week (loss to Stephens County) and were very solid tonight."

Lumpkin quarterback Taylor Guthrie ran for two touchdowns in the first half and completed 11-of-18 passes for 101 yards.

Flanagan scored his second touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put the Indians up 31-0.

It's the Indians' first win in five meetings with Chestatee and sets up a rematch with Monroe Area, which beat Lumpkin 10-3 on Sept. 17. Guthrie believes he's guiding an improved team since that Week 3 loss.

"We're definitely more balanced," said the senior quarterback, "and we've overcame some adversity this season. Hopefully, we can put it all together next week."

The Indians have been riddled with injuries this season and lost star defensive end B.J. Dorsey to a knee injury two weeks ago.

Chestatee, to its credit, put together an inspired second half, featuring its best offensive drives in the game. Chewning completed two long passes to Alex Moore to set up Montrai Tate's 2-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter.

Chewning finished 7-of-15 passing for 107 yards.

Chewning and Moore were two of nine seniors honored Friday, along with Brice Beck, Austin Dale, Austin English, Pearce Gruenfelder, Daniel Moreno, Ryan Roberts, Tim Sullens and Tyler Terry.

"I'm really proud of this senior class," said Chestatee coach Stan Luttrell. "They have not quit at all in what's been a tough season. We've got a bright future here, and a lot of kids gained some valuable experience this season. I think down the road when we're experiencing some success, we'll look back and thank this group of seniors."

Chestatee will host the sixth-place team out of Region 8-B next week.

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