Jeff Hurndon Photography
Jevious Terry scored two first-quarter touchdowns to help Eagle’s Landing Christian to a 27-14 win over George Walton Academy in the semifinals of the Class A private school playoffs.
McDONOUGH — Notre Dame-bound defensive end Isaac Rochell and future University of Georgia tailback Stanley Williams were the marquee names prior to Friday’s Class A state semifinal between George Walton Academy and host Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy.
But it was the Chargers’ Jevius Terry who stole the show at Commitment Field on Friday night, delivering two decisive special teams touchdowns and adding a key interception late as ELCA outlasted the Bulldogs, 27-14, and advanced to the Georgia Dome to play Prince Avenue Christian at 2:30 p.m. on Friday for the Class A private-school state championship.
Terry, who had been battling a recent ankle injury, returned the game’s opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and returned a GWA field goal he blocked 80 yards for another score — all in the pivotal first quarter — as the hosts jumped ahead 20-0 and never trailed. The game 5-foot-9, 165-pound senior added a key interception to thwart a Bulldogs drive in the fourth quarter and managed to even total one catch on offense to help the state’s top-ranked team improve to 12-1 with its 12th consecutive victory.
The Chargers will need more of the same next week if they are to become the first Henry County school to win a Georgia High School Association state title.
“This was the way I had envisioned things since Monday,” a jubilant Terry said afterward. “Making plays to help my team win. I was blessed to make the two touchdowns. The touchdowns were just the result of my doing my job.”
Terry’s heroics couldn’t have come at a better time for an Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy team that initially struggled against the sheer size its opponent brought to bear. The Chargers managed just 44 yards of total offense in the first half, but had Terry to thank for their 20-14 halftime advantage.
Rochell, for one, was hardly surprised to see Terry carry the rest of the team on his shoulders early on.
“He does it every day in practice,” Rochell said. “And when you have big plays like that, it’s a momentum-changer.”
ELCA moved the ball much better in the second half. Hobbling tailback and Purdue commitment Keyante Green accounted for all of his 80 yards after the break to help the host team finish with 181 yards of offense.
That proved to be more than enough offense for a stingy Chargers defense that harassed Bulldogs quarterback Hunter Rice into three interceptions while holding Williams to 139 yards, a mere 19 in the second half.
Terry took the opening kickoff along the far left sideline before making his way across the field and racing to the end zone for an electrifying touchdown to start things.
He wasn’t done with his heroics just yet, blocking a Cole Fisher 29-yard field goal attempt later in the period, picking the ball and prancing 80 yards for another score to put the Chargers ahead, 13-0, with 3:21 left in the first period.
Eagle’s Landing Christian appeared to be thoroughly in control moments later, after a D.J. Curl interception of a Rice pass set up a Lane Timpson score from 5 yards out, pushing the hosts’ advantage to 20-0 with 1:19 left in the opening quarter.
The Bulldogs finally got things going in the second quarter. They relied on two key fourth-down conversions to fuel a nine-play, 74-scoring march that Rice capped from 1 yard out to pull his team within 20-7 with 8:38 left in the half.
A Chargers interception helped set the visitors’ next score, Rice’s 1-yard scoring plunge with 3:49 left in the half, that closed the score at 20-14.
George Walton Academy closes its season at 9-4.