Chestatee junior Ben Souther ran for 177 yards to eclipse the 1,500-yard mark for the season, broke the school single-season rushing record, and scored three touchdowns, but it still wasn't enough as the War Eagles (4-6, 3-3 Region 7A-AAA) were routed 69-35 by Creekview (6-4, 5-1).
"We have an explosive offense, and we've been executing well," Creekview coach Al Morrell said. "We've scored at least 30 points in each of the last six games."
Creekview's explosive offense will be put to the test next week when it travels to Eastside for the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs as the Grizzlies secured 7-AAA's No. 4 seed with the win over Chestatee.
This is Creekview's first year of being eligible for the state playoffs.
In what was a back-and-forth contest Chestatee struck first on a 1-yard Souther touchdown run set up by a 69-yard interception return by senior Jonathon Cain.
It was a rout after that as scored 48 consecutive points, including 27 in the third quarter.
After the teams traded touchdowns three times, including an incredible span of five offensive plays that resulted in four touchdowns during the first quarter, the turning point came when Chestatee was unable to answer Collins Wold's second touchdown pass.
Following the 32-yard score from Wold (6-13, 164 yards, 2 TD) to Jon Husband, Creekview forced a three-and-out.
However, Chestatee received a gift when Husband's muffed punt was recovered by Anthony Ward at midfield.
Despite the great field position, the War Eagles failed to capitalize turning the ball over after failing to convert on fourth-and-4 with just under a minute remaining in the half.
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, moved the ball without hesitation scoring three plays later.
In only 22 seconds, Creekview moved the ball 58 yards with Chase Wildman capping off the drive with his first of two touchdowns to give Creekview a 35-21 halftime lead. On Wildman's 2-yard run, Cain was injured and later was taken from the field on a stretcher.
It appears, however, the move was purely precautionary as Cain was being treated for a concussion at last report.
With Chestatee's second leading tackler and leader in the defensive secondary injured, the floodgates seemed to open up as Creekview scored on its first five possessions of the second half, including three touchdown runs by Grizzlies' leading rusher Hunter Livingston (14 rushes, 152 yards, 4 TD).
"(Cain's injury) definitely put us in a bind," said Chestatee coach Stan Luttrell. "It forced us to move people around, put some people out of position, but take nothing away from Creekview is a good football team that played well."
For the War Eagles, the season is over, and the team will have to replace an impressive senior class that includes Cain, University of Georgia commit Chase Vasser, and quarterback Ethan Souther. After the game, many of the players were visibly upset about the conclusion of the season, including Ben Souther.
While his name is now in the Chestatee record books, Souther was at a loss for words, "No one wants to see the season end like this...I don't know. I don't really know how to explain how I feel right now. I hate that it ended this way, especially for my brother (senior quarterback Ethan Souther)."