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ELCA Chargers cruise to 69-6 homecoming win

Jeff Hurndon Photography
Eagle’s Landing Christian senior D.J. Curl scored on a 42-yard run in the first quarter and on a 45-yard punt return in second quarter to help the top-ranked Chargers to a 69-6 win over Strong Rock Christian on Friday.

Jeff Hurndon Photography Eagle’s Landing Christian senior D.J. Curl scored on a 42-yard run in the first quarter and on a 45-yard punt return in second quarter to help the top-ranked Chargers to a 69-6 win over Strong Rock Christian on Friday.

McDONOUGH — Eagle’s Landing Christian got the win, but the players will not get a prize on Monday.

Thanks to a 1-yard touchdown run by Strong Rock Christian running back Jordan Spruill, the defense failed to get a shutout — which is how the Chargers get their pizza.

But ELCA coach Jonathan Gess wasn’t too concerned about the missed shutout opportunity as his top-ranked Chargers won 69-6 in the Region 5-A contest at Commitment Field on Friday.

The Chargers (7-1, 4-0 in the region) had a great cause to celebrate its homecoming with the big win as the starting offense scored on all six of its first-half possessions. Strong Rock (3-5, 0-4) got its lone touchdown against the Chargers’ second unit.

“I don’t really care about the score,” Gess said. “I measure the game on what our starters are doing.”

And the starters have been dominant, especially on defense.

ELCA’s starting defense has yet to yield a touchdown all season. The players say it’s more of a pride factor.

“We were looking for that shutout,” ELCA linebacker/running back Keyante Green said. “We wanted the pizza on Monday.”

Said ELCA defensive tackle Isaac Rochell: “It is what it is. We played a good game.”

One of the many highlights for the defense came when Jevius Terry returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown as the Chargers built a 42-0 lead with four minutes left in the second quarter.

ELCA starters only allowed 6 yards of offense and one first down during the first half.

The Chargers’ offense didn’t have any overpowering stats, but it had no problem finding the end zone.

Senior D.J. Curl scored on a 42-yard run on ELCA’s first possession to cap a three-play drive. He also returned a punt 45 yards for another score as the Chargers built a 62-0 halftime lead.

To start the second half, Gess inserted his second unit as Strong Rock elected to play with a running clock under the Georgia High School Association mercy rule.

On the Chargers’ first possession on the second half, Lane Timpson scored on 1-yard run, capping a six-play drive to close out the team’s scoring at 69-0 with 7:08 remaining.

“I’m really pleased at how this team is coming together,” Gess said. “They are on a mission and they are hungry. They are playing like a team possessed. When you turn them on, it is hard to turn them off.”