ACWORTH — Allatoona’s flag football team shut out its second straight playoff opponent and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 6A-7A state tournament Tuesday.
The Lady Buccaneers used a 78-yard interception return for touchdown in the second half by Lauren Ford to put the game away as they defeated Meadowcreek 20-0 at Cobb EMC/Buccaneer Stadium.
With the victory, Allatoona will host Lambert on Saturday.
The Lady Buccaneers are not the only Cobb County team that advanced to the third round. They will be joined by all three of their Area 2 counterparts.
Marietta got interception returns for touchdowns by McKenzie Walker and Bisi Ojulari in the first half, and one by Cate Gruehn in the second half to post a 19-6 victory over Archer.
The Lady Blue Devils will host South Forsyth on Saturday.
McEachern defeated Newnan 20-13. Amber Kirkpatrick threw touchdowns passes to LaZaria Newell, Autumn Kirkpatrick and Keile Saylors.
The Lady Indians will travel to West Forsyth.
Hillgrove posted a 21-0 shutout at Westlake and will travel to Forsyth Central.
Victories in the next round would make for an all-Cobb state semifinal Dec. 23 at the Home Depot Backyard outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Allatoona got off to a little bit of a slower start than it did last week in its 27-0 win over Parkview. The Lady Buccaneers missed on an opportunity to score and turned the ball over on fourth down at the Meadowcreek 1, but that is when things began to go their way.
With Meadowcreek facing a third down from the 7, a bad snap led to a fumble in the end zone and a safety for a 2-0 Allatoona lead.
On the ensuing drive, Ford connected on a 34-yard pass to Emma Bailey to put the Lady Bucs deep in Meadowcreek territory. Four plays later, Ford and Bailey connected again for a 5-yard touchdown.
“We struggled to execute early,” Allatoona coach Jordan Davis said, “but that third drive we were back to looking like we wanted.”
With less than a minute before halftime, Meadowcreek made the decision to go for it on fourth down from its own 15-yard line, but an incomplete pass gave Allatoona the ball with 22 seconds to play.
After a penalty backed the Lady Bucs back to the 29, Ford connected with Samantha Beck for a touchdown with 3 seconds left to build a 14-0 lead.
“That allowed us to score and take a lot of momentum into the half,” Davis said, “especially with (Meadowcreek) getting the ball to start the second half.”
Ford finished the night 10-of-13 for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Bailey had two catches for 39 yards and a touchdown, while Haley Coyle added four catches for 22 yards and one carry for 20 yards.