Sandy Creek has won three Georgia state titles in the last four seasons (2009, 2010, 2012) and its last regular season loss was a 28-27 defeat in the 2009 season opener. The Patriots kicked off this season with a 27-27 tie to Plant (Fla.), but remain in a lock with undefeated Carrollton in Region 5B-AAAA. Carrollton has crushed every opponent this season and has amassed a 41-point average margin of victory along the way to set up this high-stakes showdown.
Pacing Sandy Creek is a diverse offense with explosive stars. Marshall-commit Cole Garvin quarterbacks and manages the Patriots’ offense. Out of the backfield is one of the best running tandems in the southeast with 4-star junior Eric Swinney and 3-star junior Delvin Weems. At wide receiver is four-star and Clemson-commit Demarre Kitt.
While Kitt stretches the field, Swinney and Weems hit defenses with a revolving one-two punch. On the season Swinney has 14 touchdowns, 858 yards and averages 107.3 yards per game and Weems has an almost identical 14 touchdowns, 860 yards and 107.5 yards per game.
“They [Eric Swinney and Delvin Weems] are both dynamic ball carriers. They can both run through you, they can both run around you,” said Sandy Creek head coach Chip Walker. “If one is having a good game, then the other one wants to step up and do the same thing. That’s big in games that may come down to the end.”
Ole Miss-commit Chris Williams lines up at tackle for the Patriots’ defense and will be put to the test against Carrollton’s powerful running game. Like Sandy Creek, Carrollton opened its season with an out-of-state opponent and handed Oxford (Ala.) a 34-14 beatdown. The Trojans’ size advantage and army of ball carriers has been the formula for success. Offensive tackle Jake Sanders is a 6-foot-6, 320-pound Duke commitment that creates running room for Trey Chivers, Jarvis Therrell and Malik Sheppard, who each have 10 rushing touchdowns on the season.
Quarterback Will Garrett has added seven touchdowns on the ground to the Trojans’ 42 total rushing scores while completing 37-of-57 passes for 764 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. Cole Cook, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound N.C. State commit and 6-foot-5, 221-pound Brandon Walton (Appalachian State commit) are a pair of tight ends that can make the Trojans unstoppable in two-tight end sets and play-action.
Leading the Carrollton defense that is surrendering just 9.0 points per game is University of Georgia commitment Dontavius Russell, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound tackle that is the No. 7 rated senior prospect in the state.