Photo: Brian Kamer Archer quarterback Jarvis Holley (4) is tackled by Justin Thomas (43) with defensive linemen Joseph Dillard (99) in on the play during Friday night's playoff game.
SUWANEE -- The opening snap of North Gwinnett's first-round Class AAAAA state playoff game against Archer didn't go so well for Scotty Hosch, who couldn't quite corral an errant shotgun snap that resulted in a 5-yard loss.
From that point, however, the senior quarterback could do little wrong.
He completed 25 of 27 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns -- all to Chad Scott -- as the No. 8 state-ranked Bulldogs rolled past the visiting Tigers 49-3 Friday night at Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium.
The North (10-1) defense also had a big night, limiting Archer (5-6) to just 50 yards of total offense, including minus-12 on the ground, sacking Tigers quarterback Jarvis Holley three times and creating two turnovers as the Bulldogs advanced to play host to ninth-ranked Colquitt County in next week's second round with a balanced, all-around effort.
"We talked all week about playing from the first snap on (and) never taking anything for granted," North coach Bob Sphire said. "I thought the kids focused all week and came ready to play (Friday) night."
After the ironic -- based on Sphire's goal -- miscue on the game's first snap the Bulldogs seized control and never let it go.
Hosch's performance was reminiscent of Phil Simms near-perfect game in Super Bowl XXI as the 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior completed passes of just about every conceivable pattern and length, and to nine different receivers.
And it came after the Bulldogs used their ground game to dominate the past two weeks.
"We talked all week about taking what they (Archer) give us," Hosch said. "They left some open areas, and the receivers just kept making plays on the ball.
"It's nice (throwing the ball more), but as long as we're moving the ball and putting points on the board, it's not a problem with me (how it gets done)."
The North signal caller was on the mark with his first 21 tosses, including three on the Bulldogs' first drive of the game.
Two of those completions went to Scott, with the latter seeing the senior receiver haul in a 9-yard pass just inside the left sideline for a score that put North up 7-0 just 1:41 after the opening kickoff.
Hosch continued to be on target on the Bulldogs' second possession, with eight of the nine plays on the 68-yard drive being pass completions, including three on swing passes out of the backfield to Donnie Miles.
Once again, he finished the drive with a TD pass to Scott, this time from 19 yards out, to push the North lead to 14-0 with 4:54 left in the first quarter.
After Joe Jones extended the lead to 21-0 with his 1-yard dive with 7:29 left in the first half, the Bulldogs' defense which allowed Archer just 28 yards of total offense for the first half -- then flexed its muscles later in the quarter.
Steven Burger burst in from the right side to knock the ball from a scrambling Jarvis Holley and Carl Rider scooped it up and ran 20 yards for a score with 1:05 left in the half, sending North into intermission with a 28-0 lead.
Hosch continued the onslaught by completing three more passes on the Bulldogs' first possession of the second half, including his third scoring strike of the night to Scott from 22 yards out to make the score 35-0 with 8:45 left in the third quarter. Scott finished the night with seven catches for 108 yards and the three TDs.
That brought on the North reserves, who also got into the act as Michael Haynes ran for a touchdown and threw to Chris Bolden for another to take as much as a 49-0 lead by the end of the third quarter.
The defensive reserves also hung tough even after Archer finally got a little offense going by driving deep into North territory twice.
The Bulldogs held Archer on downs at the North 25 the first time.
However, after being held to just five first downs on the night, the Tigers finally got on the board on Zach Wachholz's 27 yard field goal with 2:43 remaining to leave their first postseason appearance on a positive note.
"The main thing is, you can't trade this experience for anything," Archer coach Andy Dyer said. "You've got to get here, and you've got to play with the big boys. ... That's where we're tying to get.
"You can't trade that experience for anything. Now our kids have a goal to shoot for. They see what kind of work they've got sitting in front of them."