Leading only 16-7 at the half, the Buccaneers grabbed control when they scored on Jeremy Uzee’s second touchdown pass of the game, an 18-yarder to Tommy Davis to increase the lead to 23-6 with 7:57 left in the third quarter.
Allatoona’s broke it open from there. A 6-yard touchdown run by T.J. Herron, who would finish with 155 yards rushing, and a 17-yard touchdown pass from Uzee to Tony Perkins late in the fourth quarter. Uzee finished the game with three touchdown passes.
“We got off to a slow start but our offensive line played great (Friday) and I told the guys after the game that we have to keep pumping and getting better throughout the year,” Herron said.
The Bucs finished the game with 422 total yards of offense.
“T.J. did a great job running full speed (Friday) to complement our balanced offensive attack,” Allatoona coach Gary Varner said. “This entire region has been an unknown for us and some people even predicted in the preseason that we wouldn’t make the playoffs. However, we’re focused on facing Hiram next week and going from there.”
Allatoona is now 7-0 overall and in the region and with the win, the Bucs clinched a playoff spot.
Early in the game, there was no guarantee it would be that way.
Allatoona started with a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown by Traboris Tarver being negated on a roughing the punter call. Then on their subsequent possession, the Bucs were stopped on fourth-and-goal from the 5-yard line when Herron was stopped for no gain to keep the game scoreless heading into the second quarter.
Allatoona finally got on the scoreboard on a 31-yard field goal by Nathan Shaw with 7:46 left before the half. The Bucs continued the offensive pressure when Herron scored the first of his two touchdowns of the contest on a 23-yard run up the middle to make the score 9-0.
The Wildcats responded on their next possession when Jaylon Cox scored on a 47-yard run to cut the lead to 10-7 late in the second quarter.
Allatoona pushed the lead back to nine with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Uzee to Perkins with 1:23 left in the first half.
“I thought our first quarter could have been better tonight,” Varner said. “However our defense was outstanding and kept us in the contest until our offense was able to pick up.”
The Wildcats didn’t convert a third-down attempt in the first half on seven chances and finished the game only 2-for-10 on the night.
The Wildcats’ offense was led by Cox who finished the game with a team-high 82 yards rushing.
“We’re a young team that had some chances early in the game to make some plays,” said Villa Rica head coach Mike Falleur. “We have to get better and keep fighting for the rest of the season.”