ATLANTA — Derrick Alexander rushed for 131 yards and scored a touchdown for Sandy Creek, but the Patriot defense was ultimately responsible for the Fayette County school's second straight state title.
Mike Hilton intercepted two passes to stop Carrollton drives and a late fumble recovery by Maceo Brown allowed Sandy Creek (15-0) to hold on to an early lead, beating Carrollton 14-7 in the Class AAA state championship Saturday.
The Patriots, who won the Class AAAA title in 2009, extended their winning streak to 29 games, the longest current streak in the state.
Sandy Creek stopped the Trojans on fourth down at the Carrollton 42 in the first period, then took seven plays to punch in its first score, a 3-yard run by quarterback Ronnie Bell.
The Patriots pushed the lead to 14-0 on Alexander's 7-yard run in the second quarter, finishing a nine-play, 68-yard drive.
Carrollton (14-1) scored on a 36-yard pass from A.J. Barge to Josh Barge late in the first half to pull within a touchdown, but missed on four other chances to score.
Hilton picked off an A.J. Barge pass at the Sandy Creek 3-yard line in the second quarter, and in the third quarter intercepted a potential game-tying pass in the Sandy Creek end zone.
The last missed chance came with 1:59 left, after Carrollton drove from its own 31 to the Patriot 4, using 13 plays and burning more than half of the fourth-quarter clock. On second down, Carrollton's Telvin Brown ran around the left end but had the ball knocked out by Sandy Creek's Jamal Ware. Two Patriot defenders had chances at the ball, which was recovered by Brown on the 8.
After the turnover, Carrollton had all its timeouts and used them to keep its hopes alive. Sandy Creek drove to the Carrollton 34 before facing fourth-and-2, when Bell passed to Alex Chisum for a 32-yard gain that clinched the victory.
Carrollton had scored 628 points through its first 14 games, tied for 10th-most in GHSA history. The Trojans held a seven-minute edge in time of possession but finished with just 239 total yards.