FRIDAY'S AREA PLAYOFF ROUNDUP: Americus-Sumter blanked by Sandy Creek; Miller mashed by Clinch; Cairo, Thomasville move on

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

Americus-Sumter, Miller both bumped from GHSA playoffs

SANDY CREEK --Turnovers and miscues all night plagued the Americus-Sumter Panthers (7-5), who saw their best season since the county and city schools were consolidated in 2004 end at the hands of last year's GHSA Class AAAA state champ Sandy Creek, 48-0, on Friday night. Sandy Creek moved down to AAA this season.

Malik Thomas, who was coming off a 256-yard, three-touchdown performance a week ago against Washington County, twice was picked off and had those interceptions returned for scores -- both by Bruce Dukes -- and by halftime, A-S was down, 34-0. Twenty four of Sandy Creek's 48 points came off turnovers, including a fumbled kickoff. Americus-Sumter was held to just 79 yard of total offense in the first half, but its defense actually stood tall, only allowing Sandy Creek 226 total yards of offense on the night.

But the turnovers were costly and Americus-Sumter could never recover.

The Panthers' lone bright spot was Tyran Goober, who prevented the final score from being any worse when he picked off a pass in the end zone.



The Pirates' season ends at 8-4 as they will once again watch the team that eliminated them from the state playoffs likely go on to win state.

"They last three years, the team that's beaten us has either won state or played for the state title," Miller coach Franks Killingsworth said. "So, yeah, I'd say based on that, Clinch is the favorite to win it all. They're good."

Miller, which loses a host of seniors, got both its scores from Marvin Grant on the ground, while Marcus Bullard picked off a pass. But Miller turned the ball over all night, including three lost fumbles and one interception on a fade route by QB Caleb Cunningsham.

Miller trailed, 28-0, at halftime.

"I'm very proud of the season and I told the guys that each team makes their own story," Killingsworth said. "And although our story ends early, it sure was a good one."

-- Americus Times-Recorder sports editor Chris Whitaker and Herald sports editor Danny Aller contributed to this report.