By Doug Gorman
The New Creation Christian Academy football team from McDonough enjoyed its first year in the Christian School Athletic Association, posting a 9-1 record and winning a state championship.
New Creation lost its first game of the year 35-0 to Pinecrest Christian School, won nine games in a row, including a 9-7 defensive battle against Crown Athletics of Woodstock in the championship game.
Pinecrest is a GISA member, who made the playoffs in that league.
New Creation won the title in its first year under the direction of head coach Jonathan Brown, a former assistant coach at Ola.
"We fully exceeded our expectations," Brown said. "But if you know our kids, they work hard, and this is a dream come true."
The Crusaders were led by Andrew Brunnert, who threw eight touchdown passes and ran for 14 more en route to the team's championship season. He also handled kicking and punting duties for the team.
Running back Jordan Landrum was an offensive force, rushing for seven touchdowns and garnering 700 yards.
The offensive line was led by Keaton Wolf-Gilliam, Monroe Bell and Josh Garrison.
Evan Williams, who also played fullback, was one of the leaders on the defensive side of the ball from his linebacker spot.
Defensive end Austin Marshall led the team in sacks and tackles for a loss. Defensive end Corey Bisel also helped pace the team. Linebackers Jason Parrott and Woosong Northrop made big plays all year, and Keano Babb, who also played wide receiver, and safeties Jared Sanner and Stevie Larkin handled the team's secondary duties.