Calvary Day tight end Milan Richard takes a break during the first quarter after scoring the game’s first touchdown on a 9-yard reception in the Cavaliers’ 35-34 overtime win at ELCA. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
MCDONOUGH - Calvary Day defensive lineman Andre Wilson made what was perhaps the biggest play of his high school career.
And it was most definitely the biggest play of the Cavaliers 35-34 overtime win over top-ranked Eagle’s Landing Christian in the semifinals of the Class A playoffs Friday night.
The sophmore burst through the line on a two-point conversion play and stopped ELCA quarterback Jordan Long as the Chargers went for the win at Commitment Field.
As Byrd wrestled Long to the ground, ELCA shot at a second straight Class A private-school title ended.
Calvary Day moves on to the Georgia Dome next week to play for the championship as the Cavaliers ride an 11-game winning streak into the finals.
“We anticipated that they would go for two,” Calvary Day lineman Michael Strong said. “We were on the look out for it. It was just a good play from our defense.”
After Long found wide receiver Cameron Stewart open in the back of the end zone in overtime, Chargers coach Jonathan Gess elected to go for two instead of playing for the tie.
“I was going for the win,” Gess said.
Long made a spectacular play on a fourth-and-goal from Calvary Day’s 7 to put the team in a position to send the game into another overtime period.
However, the Cavaliers defense rose to the occassion and perserved the victory.
ELCA ends its season at 11-1.
Calvary Day got the ball first in overtime, and scored on a 1-yard run by Robert Heyward. It was the Cavaliers first touchdown since the 10:34 mark of the fourth quarter.
Jordan Walker was on the receiving end of a 7-yard scoring pass from Michael Peterson to give the Cavaliers a 28-20 lead.
ELCA appeared as if they would win it in regulation, but a fumble by Bryson Durden on the six-yard line stopped a potential scoring drive.
Chargers quarterback accounted for three of the the team’s four touchdowns in regulation. He scored on runs of 1 and 6 yards before connecting with senior Davis Carrandi on a 73-yard scoring pass play to tie the game at 28-28 with 7:03 remaining.
It was a two-point conversion run by Long that evened the score late in the fourth quarter.
Calvary Day stormed a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
“That was a heck of a game,” Calvary Day coach Mark Stroud said. “Our guys played really well out here. I told them that ELCA would make a comeback because they are a heck of a team. I’m just so proud of my guys.”