Posted: Saturday, November 3rd 2012 at 2:06am
Turnovers, miscues doom War Eagles in loss to Monroe Area
By Jeff Hart Staff
GAINESVILLE – Monroe Area’s Michael Gallup had other plans for Chestatee’s bid for a first-ever region title.
Gallup rushed for 153 yards and three touchdowns and passed for another 94 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Class AAAA sixth-ranked Hurricanes to a 35-14 win over the War Eagles at War Eagles Stadium Friday night.
The game was a battle for the Region 8-AAAA title and the Hurricanes (9-0, 6-0 region) are assured of their first region title since 1969. What was even more impressive about Gallant’s effort is that he was taking over at quarterback for Stanton Truitt, who was injured and did not dress for the game.
Monroe Area coach Matt Fligg, who opened Chestatee as its first coach back in 2002, said it was an emotional final minute.
“It’s been a long road to get here. We had to change the attitude of the program and the administration and the community has been great,” Fligg said. “It means a lot to all of us. Michael just did a fantastic job for us all night.
"But it’s a little bittersweet because I will always have a place in my heart for Chestatee. They are a good football team and should do well in the playoffs.”
Despite the loss, the War Eagles (7-2, 5-1) will be assured of the No. 2 seed by virtue of Eastside’s loss to Stephens County on Friday. The War Eagles knocked off both teams for the first time earlier in the season.
While Gallup was chewing up the Chestatee defense, especially in the first half, the War Eagles offense struggled to get untracked with five turnovers and several untimely penalties. Three of the turnovers came in Monroe territory and stopped potential scoring drives.
Chestatee coach Stan Luttrell said you can’t make those kinds of mistakes and expect to win.
“We couldn’t hold on to the ball and you have to be able to do that against good teams,” Luttrell said. “A couple of penalties hurt. But I’m proud of the way our guys hung in there in the second half.”
Monroe Area used the speed of Gallant early in the game to run out to a quick 14-0 lead and the Hurricanes led 21-7 after the first quarter. But Luttrell said some adjustments allowed them to get back in the game.
“Once we got accustomed to their speed and made some adjustments I thought the defense played great after the first quarter,” he said. “The problem was we just fumbled it too much.”
The Hurricanes wasted little time in jumping on the War Eagles. After recovering a Chestatee onside kick to open the game, Michael Gallup sprinted 51 yards on the first play of the game for a 7-0 lead.
Then, after intercepting a Chestatee pass on the War Eagles’ second play of their first possession, Gallup capped a 51-yard drive with a nifty 29-yard scramble on fourth-and-4 for a 14-0 lead five minutes into the game.
Chestatee would answer, however. The War Eagles cut the lead to 14-7 with 4:25 left in the first quarter when Jordan DeGraff ran 19 yards for a score to cap an 80-yard, nine-play drive.
But the Hurricanes answered back with a 54-yard drive in just over three minutes, capped by Gallup’s third touchdown of the quarter on a 2-yard run for a 21-7 lead.
Chestatee looked to get a big break late in the half stopping Monroe when the Hurricanes failed to convert a 26-yard field goal attempt on a bad snap. But, the War Eagles fumbled on the next play, their third turnover of the half, and Gallant pushed the lead to 28-14 with just 13 seconds left on an 11-yard TD pass to Sean Garrison.
The only score in the second half came early in the fourth quarter following Chestatee’s fifth turnover in its own territory. Gallant connected with T.J. Sigmund on 25-yard TD pass on third-and-15 to push the lead to 35-14.
Kwon Brooks added 125 yards for the Hurricanes, 70 coming in the second half.
DeGraff led the War Eagles ground attack with 82 yards and one touchdown. He also threw for 68 yards and one touchdown. A.J. Sijiye had 51 yards on 16 tough carries, mostly up the middle against a big Monroe defensive line.
Monroe...........21…....7....0......0....7 -- 35
Chestatee.........7..…..7…...0......0……..0 -- 14
MON – Gallup 51 run (Brown kick) 11:47, 7-0
MON – Gallup 29 run (Brown kick) 7:01, 14-0
CHS – DeGraff 19 run (Zamora kick) 4:25, 14-7
MON – Gallup 2 run (Brown kick) 1:06, 21-7
CHS – Clark 23 pass from DeGraff (Zamora kick) 6:43, 21-14
MON – Garrison 11 pass from Gallup (Brown kick) :13, 28-14
MON -- Sigmund 25 pass from Gallup (Brown kick) 10:24, 35-14
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