- Tyler Harden
Collins Hill cruises past Mill Creek, remains on top of Georgia 7A Rankings
Photo Credit: Gwinnett Prep Sports
HOSCHTON, GEORGIA— When Collins Hills’ star wide receiver, cornerback, and number-1 player in the country, Travis Hunter, went down with an ankle injury earlier this month in a game against Peachtree Ridge, many people wondered how Collins Hill would come back. However, the Eagles, who came into the 2021-22 high school football season as the number-1 team in the state of Georgia, didn’t skip a beat.
The Eagles won their next two games after that, giving up a combined 7 points. But this week wouldn’t come so easy, as they were set to face the Mill Creek Hawks, who were 8-0, and have a star of their own in 5-star 2023 safety, Caleb Downs. The winner of this game would win the region championship. Collins Hill won it last year, and was projected to win it again this year. While they faced adversity this season, they went after and got what they deserved.
Collins Hill quarterback, Sam Horn, who is committed to Missouri, got the Eagles going early. He got the Eagles to the Mill Creek 20-yard line, but the Hawks’ defense held them from there. The Eagles were forced to settle for a 33-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. The Collins Hill defense also made an impact early, recovering the ball after a fumbled handoff by Mill Creek, and gave the offense outstanding field position at the Mill Creek 5-yard line. Running back, Spenser Anderson, took advantage with a 5-yard rushing touchdown, making the score 10-0 (PAT good).
The Eagles’ defense continued to dominate, as another fumble by Mill Creek was recovered by Collins Hill safety, Aaron Horton II, and the offense took over at the Mill Creek 19. Sam Horn then found Spenser Anderson on a back shoulder, fade pass for a 23-yard touchdown, extending the Eagles lead to 17-0 to end the first quarter (PAT good).
Collins Hill went right down the field once again to start the second quarter, but they were brought to 4th and goal. The Eagles had a trick up their sleeve, as Cam Pedro took a handoff, and threw a pass to Sam Horn for a 23-yard touchdown, making the score 24-0 (PAT good). The Eagle defense continued to make big plays shortly after, as cornerback, Christian Harris, intercepted a pass and gave the offense the ball at their own 44.
But Mill Creek’s defense made plays as well, as defensive end, Gaven Voyles, intercepted a pass from Horn, and gave the Hawks the ball at their own 29-yard line. The Hawks the found some momentum, advancing down the field to the Collins Hill 30-yard line. The Collins Hill defense didn’t let them get any further, however, and the Hawks settled for a 32-yard field goal to make the score 24-3 to end the first half.
Both teams took some time to find a rhythm on offense, luckily Mill Creek’s defense helped their offense out to start the third quarter. Collins Hill muffed a punt from the Hawks, and Mill Creek cornerback, Naseem Triplett recovered the ball at the Collins Hill 18-yard line. Caleb Downs then caught a pass from quarterback, Hayden Clark, made a spin move, and ran into the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown to make the score 24-10 (PAT good).
Collins Hill didn’t back down despite Mill Creek finding some momentum, as Sam Horn found Cam Pedro for a 35-yard gain to the Mill Creek 5-yard line. The Hawks’ defense held them from there, and the Eagles were forced to settle for a 21-yard field goal to end the third quarter with a 27-10 lead.
The Eagles’ defense worked to put the game away in the fourth quarter, and linebacker, Richard Ransom, helped make that happen. He intercepted a pass, and returned it for a 63-yard touchdown, extending their lead to 34-10 (PAT good). But Collins Hill linebacker, Adrian Rivas, wanted to help as well, as he also intercepted a pass, and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown (PAT no good). When the remaining clock ran out from there, Collins Hill had walked away with a 40-10 victory, and a second consecutive region championship.
Collins Hill completes their regular season with a perfect 10-0 record, and remains the top team in 7A in Georgia high school football. The Eagles are off next week before heading into playoffs. Mill Creek suffers their first loss of the season, and falls to 8-1. The Hawks hope to bounce back next week to end their regular season against Peachtree Ridge on the road on Friday, November 5th, at 7 PM ET.