HOSCHTON — Both football teams wanted to find a way to finish Friday night’s game at Mill Creek.
But no options worked out for the host Hawks and Archer as they fought off multiple lightning delays, forcing the game’s cancellation. Per Georgia High School Association rules, Mill Creek is credited with a 10-7 victory — the score when play was halted with 8:31 left in the second quarter — over the sixth-ranked Tigers.
The teams waited with plans to resume late Friday evening, but called that off because the players had sat around so long, and concern of the midnight curfew for teenagers to be on the road. Saturday night wasn’t an option because of Mill Creek’s homecoming dance, so the two sides aimed for a 1 p.m. resumption Saturday. But game officials couldn’t be secured until Monday.
With Monday as the only option, Archer declined to make up the game. The Tigers (2-1) didn’t want to play Mill Creek on Monday, then have to play Norcross four days later.
“I didn’t want to put our kids in a four-day turnaround from Monday to Friday (next week),” Archer head coach Andy Dyer said. “At the end of the day, we’re trying to make the best decision for our kids physically. You get those games, and the 14, 15 minutes we played tonight was physical football. … Ultimately, I had to make the decision I thought was best for my kids in the long haul in terms of not making up the game Monday.”
Mill Creek (3-1) stopped a three-game losing streak to Archer and evened the all-time series between the two schools, who have played six times since 2015. Though it goes down as a victory, the Hawks wanted to finish four quarters.
“I thought we were playing well,” Mill Creek head coach Josh Lovelady said. “We had one drive halted by some mental mistakes and penalties. But I thought we were playing well. Give credit to (Archer), they had a great play on the 99-yard (touchdown) run. But I felt we were playing fast and physical and came out strong. I wish we had finished. Mill Creek needed a game like that against a playoff team, a championship team that was in the (state) semifinals last year. That was going to make us better.”
Aside from Archer’s 99-yard touchdown run by Jordon Swain, Mill Creek was in control. When play stopped, the Hawks had run 25 offensive plays to Archer’s seven — the Tigers had three-and-outs on their other two possessions.
Mill Creek used the running of Chancellor Lee-Parker (13 rushes, 71 yards) and two completions from Thurman Harris for points on the game’s first drive. After being stopped on third down, Brock Pellegrino made a 30-yard field goal to put the hosts up 3-0.
Pellegrino’s two ensuing punts then pinned Archer at the 4- and 1-yard lines as Mill Creek dominated field position. But after his second punt, Swain carried through the right side of the line and raced to the open field for a 99-yard score, weaving at the end of his run to avoid Hawks defender Noah Faircloth, who had hustled to chase the play down.
Khamari Glover then made two big plays to give the Hawks their winning margin. He returned the ensuing kickoff 55 yards to the Archer 44-yard line, then finished off a nine-play drive with a 19-yard TD pass from M.J. Patterson. Patterson played the final two Mill Creek series after Harris played the first two at quarterback.
After Pellegrino’s extra point, a lightning flash in the distance sent the teams back to the locker room, where they stayed until the game was eventually called.
Jalen Mayala (five tackles) and Kameron O'Rourke (four tackles, two for losses) led the Archer defense. Mill Creek's Myles Jackson and Carson Howatineck had a tackle for loss, highlighting the seven plays the Hawks' defense was on the field.
MILL CREEK 10, ARCHER 7
Archer 7 0 xx xx - 7
Mill Creek 3 7 xx xx - 10
Mill Creek: Brock Pellegrino 30 FG, 8:24
Archer: Jordon Swain 99 run (Jacob Waters kick) :00
Mill Creek: Khamari Glover 19 pass from M.J. Patterson (Pellegrino kick) 8:31
First downs 1 8
Rushes-yards 4-105 16-78
Passing yards 7 50
Comp-Att-INT 2-3-0 6-9-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 3-35 3-20
RUSHING - Archer: Swain 1-99; Renoldo Spivey 3-6. Mill Creek: Chancellor Lee-Parker 13-71; Parker Wroble 1-4; Patterson 1-2; Josh Battle 1-1.
PASSING - Archer: Carter Peevy 2-3-0, 7. Mill Creek: Harris 4-6-0, 28; Patterson 2-3-0, 22.
RECEIVING - Archer: Swain 1-6; Andrew Dyer 1-1. Mill Creek: Glover 3-26; Wroble 2-18; Connor Bell 1-6.