By Taylor Denman
SUWANEE — Trailing by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, Mountain View mounted a valiant comeback against Region 6-AAAAAAA rival Collins Hill, but it was cut short by penalties and a timely takeaway by the Eagles, who walked away with a 29-21 win.
The Bears (6-2, 2-2) scored with roughly six minutes left in the fourth quarter to cut Collins Hill’s lead to 29-21, and forced the Eagles to punt on the ensuing drive.
The Bears appeared to have a near stop with less than two minutes remaining, but two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties gave the Eagles a first down and opportunity to ice the game.
“I don’t know that you can put it into words other than, you preach about doing the right things,” said Eagles coach Lenny Gregory. “You’re selling kids on having high character and showing up and working hard and staying focused. That’s a hard job to do in high school football.”
There were 33 total penalties in the game, and eight personal fouls. A key penalty squandered an opportunity for the Bears to get their defense off the field down 17-14 early in the fourth quarter.
The Bears appeared to stop Collins Hill quarterback Jon-Michael Findlay short of a first down on 4th and 4, but a horse collar tackle, coupled with unsportsmanlike conduct ruined the stop and set up the Eagles with 1st and goal from the Bears’ 8-yard line.
Running back Evan Anderson punched in the second of his three touchdowns for the night on the next play.
“We killed ourselves, absolutely killed ourselves with penalties,” Bears coach Nick Bach said. “We won’t beat anybody if we have that many penalties. We’ve just got to come to the understanding we have to play with discipline. We have to learn from our mistakes, move on and fight our tails of next week.”
In the first quarter, Anderson broke the stalemate on a 61-yard touchdown. Mountain View countered late in the first quarter when Edwards found Georgia Tech commit Malachi Carter in a favorable 1-on-1 matchup for a 15-yard TD — the first of three TD connections between the tandem.
The Bears set up the Eagles with an opportunity to lead by a full touchdown midway through the second quarter when the Bears kicked a short punt from their own 9-yard line.
Collins Hill started the drive from the Bears’ 26, but were held to a field goal from Rodalfo Gonzalez, and a 10-7 lead at halftime.
The Eagles capitalized on a handful of Mountain View penalties that pushed the Bears back in the second half.
The Bears were set up with first and long in the first possession of the second half after a chop block, and Edwards was hit as he threw on the fifth play of the half.
Jomier Augustine snared the ball and ran it 25 yards for a TD and 16-7 Collins Hill lead.
“I just played the ball. I thought I was going to go down, but kicked it into another gear and took it back to the crib,” Augustine said.
The Eagles tallied 231 rushing yards. In addition to his three TDs, Anderson posted 153 yards on 20 carries.
“When you’re a ball-control offense, you’re not worried about what people are going to do,” Gregory said. “It’s about execution. That’s what this offense is. It’s something that I believe in. I believe in ball control and not turning the football over and being able to move the ball and flip the field punting it. And then play great defense. That’s what we did tonight.”
For the Bears, Edwards was 18 of 32 for 220 yards and two interceptions. Carter had nine catches for 134 yards.
“I think these guys are always going to fight back,” Bach said. “They know that, but when we shoot ourselves in the foot that many times, we shouldn’t have to come back.”
MW 7 0 7 7 — 21
CH 7 3 13 6 — 29
Collins Hill: Evan Anderson 61 run (Rodolfo Gonzalez kick) 9:20
Mountain View: Malachi Carter 15 pass from Matthew Edwards (Carlos Ayala kick) :20
Collins Hill: Gonzalez 29 FG 5:25
Collins Hill: Jomier Augustine 25 interception return (kick no good)
Collins Hill: Anderson 8 run (Gonzalez kick) 1:03
Collins Hill: Anderson 19 run (run failed) 9:22
Mountain View: Carter 30 pass from Edwards (Ayala kick) 6:02
First downs 14 11
Rush yards 24-85 46-231
Passing yards 220 27
Comp-Att 18-32-2 1-2-0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 17-90 16-144