The stark contrast in halves for the Chestatee football team could be summed up in the play of its star Ben Souther.
The senior tailback was held to just 31 yards on two carries including a goal line fumble in the first 24 minutes. But in the second half both he and the War Eagles responded in a big way. Souther scored four touchdowns, amassing 165 yards on just seven carries to help lead his team to a 33-0 homecoming win over Pickens.
“That’s the maturity we need out of him.” Chestatee coach Stan Luttrell said. “We challenged him after the fumble to finish every play and I think he did that the rest of the game.”
The War Eagles (2-2, 1-0 Region 7A-AAA) could get nothing going in the first half, but fortunately for them neither could Pickens (1-3, 0-1).
The Dragons did have something going as the half came to a close, but on the final play, quarterback Austin Murphy was pressured and tossed up a free ball that Chestatee’s Keaton Summerlin picked off at his own 35 and ran all the way back for the score to give his team a huge momentum boost going into the break
The second half was all about Souther. He scored his first touchdown on a 19-yard run in the closing minutes of the third quarter to give the War Eagles a two score cushion at 12-0. On his next touch early in the fourth he trotted 51 yards for a touchdown, and followed that up moments later with a 63-yard score.
As a whole the War Eagles played like a different football team in the second half, holding Pickens to just 81 yards of offense forcing three turnovers and rolling up 231 yards of rushing offense.
“It was very sloppy at the beginning for whatever reason, but the kids did a good job of responding after a couple halftime adjustments and playing Chestatee football,” Luttrell said.