Pirates Elite 8 bound

There are only eight teams remaining in the AAA State Football Playoffs and one of those teams is Appling County. The Pirates advanced to the Elite 8 round after defeating the Cherokee Bluff Bears this past Friday night 34-20 in Flowery Branch. The team will now play Thomson High School on Friday, November 26, at 7:30 in Thomson.

Senior Quarterback Taylen Crosby had a huge night against Cherokee Bluff, racking up 321 yards on 14 rushing attempts and had four touchdowns for the Pirates.

Fans are encouraged to travel to Thomson on Friday night to support the Pirates. The Georgia High School Association will not allow The Baxley News-Banner to live stream/broadcast the game.

Scoring recap

Cherokee Bluff started the scoring off quickly in the first quarter at the 10:00 mark. The Bears completed a 16-yard passing touchdown, but the point after attempt (PAT) failed, making the score 6-0.

The Bears were able to score again at the 7:41 mark in the second quarter with a four-yard rushing touchdown and successful PAT to make the score 13-0.

Taylen Crosby went to work at the 5:33 mark in the second period with a 20-yard rushing touchdown. Alex Garcia added the PAT to make the score 13-7.

With just 33 seconds remaining in the first half, Pirate Quarterback Dayson Griffis connected with Darris Smith for a 24-yard passing touchdown. Garcia’s kick was good making the score 14-13 headed into halftime.

Following the kickoff to the Pirates to open the second half, Appling got the ball on their own 23-yard line. Quarterback Taylen Crosby got the direct snap and rushed 77 yards for another Pirate touchdown. The PAT was good and Pirates led 21-13.

Crosby struck again at the 6:04 mark in the third, this time with a 57-yard rushing touchdown. The PAT was no good and the score was Appling 27, Cherokee Bluff 13.

With 1:02 remaining in the third, Cherokee bluff went to the air again for a touchdown. The team completed a 10-yard passing touchdown making the score 27-20.

However, Taylen Crosby was not finished with the Bear defense. Crosby found an opening and rushed 64 yards for another Appling touchdown. Garcia’s kick was good and the score was 34-20 at the 11:44 mark in the fourth quarter.

The remainder of the game would be a defensive battle and the game would end with the Pirate on top 34-20.

Statistics

First downs – ACHS 17, CBHS 11

Rushing att/yds – ACHS 46/450, CBHS 32/125

Passing att/com/yds – ACHS 6/3/30, CBHS 18/6/78

Total yards – ACHS 480, CBHS 203

Penalties – ACHS 8/62, CBHS 8/52

Time of possession – ACHS 24:11, CBHS 23:49

Individual statistics

Passing – Dayson Griffis completed 3 of 6 passes for 30 yards and had 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

Receiving – Darris Smith had 1 reception for 24 yards and 1 touchdown reception. Camden Hickox had 1 reception for 6 yards and Jaylen Johnson had 1 reception for zero yards.

Rushing – Taylen Crosby had 14 rushes for 321 yards and four touchdowns, Jarvis Mims had 11 rushes for 83 yards and Dennis Mims had 13 rushes for 49 yards.

Defense – Dennis Mims had 8 tackles, Taylen Crosby had 7 tackles, Jamori Wright, Darris Smith and Jarvis Mims had 6 tackles each, Joseph Ross had 4 tackles and 1 sack, Jose Martinez and Dawson Griffis had 4 tackles each, and Malik Rogers and Nehemiah Howard had 3 tackles each.