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SGA blanks Robert Toombs, 21-0, in Class AA opener

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

DAMASCUS -- Southwest Georgia Academy coach David Bell had conflicting emotions after his team grounded out a 21-0 first-round GISA Class AA state playoff victory over visiting Robert Toombs Friday night.

On one hand, he was displeased with his offense but delighted in his defense, which tossed its first shutout of the year. But he was happy that the Warriors improved to 9-1 and advanced into the second round. SGA will now host Edmund Burke next Friday night.

Quarterback Dillon Driver was eight-of-14 for 141 yards through the air and rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown, while fullback Troupe Tabb scored two touchdowns on short runs as the Warriors notched their ninth straight victory after starting the year 0-1.

"I thought we played pretty bad on offense, and the penalties killed us," Bell said. "But we didn't turn the ball over and that was a positive. I thought our defensive effort was outstanding. But we've won nine games in a row, and I have to be happy about that no matter how ugly the win was."

RTA, which gained just 100 yards in offense in the first half, was held to minus-17 in the second. The closest the Crusaders came to scoring was late in the first half, using two major penalties on SGA to move to the Warriors' 3-yard line. But they turned the ball over on downs.

SGA broke on top, 7-0, with 3:18 to go in the first quarter after Tabb broke off a 32-yard run to set up Driver's 3-yard plunge for a touchdown.

"I thought we played pretty well," Driver said. "The line was doing a pretty good job and the receivers were getting open. It was nice, but we could have played better. I'm sure we'll work on a couple of things in practice and hope we can carry this momentum into the next round."

Early in the second quarter, Tabb barrelled in from a yard out to push SGA's advantage to 14-0 at the half.

"I thought we played a decent game against a very hard team," SGA running back Taylor Tabb, Troupe's cousin who had 46 yards on 23 carries, said. "I think we wanted it more than they did and we played a little harder. We'll just keep working hard and carry it over into the next round. This team is not about to lay down now."

The Warriors notched their final touchdown with 3:43 to go in the game when Troupe Tabb topped off a nine-play, 58-yard drive with a 3-yard burst into the end zone. All nine plays were on the ground as Troupe Tabb accounted for 32 of the yards on four rushes.

"I'm so proud of this team," RTA coach Sam Sullivan said after the Crusaders ended their season at 6-5. "Nobody thought we'd win two or three games this year. Our kids never quit and they played hard tonight, but (SGA) -- that's a very good football team."