ACWORTH -- Asante Das set a new Cobb County record with 292 receiving yards, to go with five touchdowns as Allatoona beat Sprayberry 38-21 on Friday.
The first half was defined by big plays. Danté Marshall found Das three times, and each connection went for a touchdown.
“Him and Danté have been doing this for three years and getting a little better each year,” Allatoona coach Gary Varner said. “Now, I think they’re both very confident, very comfortable out here on Fridays, and they’re just having a great year together, and they have a good chemistry going.”
Against Allatoona’s classic I-formation, Sprayberry (2-3, 1-2 Region 6AAAAAA) stacked the box and left receivers in 1-on-1 matchups on the outside. Das repeatedly beat his man deep and scored all five of the Buccaneers’ touchdowns.
Das' 292 yards were 2 yards better than Marietta tight end Arik Gilbert's previous record of 290, which he set last year against North Paulding. Based on the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, it is the fourth-highest total in state history.
“Their guys did a very good job of stemming routes and gaining leverage on our corners,” Sprayberry coach Brett Vavra said. “One of them, we did bust a coverage, but I think they just did a really good job. It’s a tough job as a corner when you’re out there on an island and you’re asked to cover a really skilled receiver.”
Marshall and Das put Allatoona (4-1, 4-0) up 7-0 on its first drive from 58 yards. Touchdown passes of 92 and 45 yards gave the Buccaneers a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Sprayberry got on the board late in the first half through running back Damarion Owens. Cobb County's leading rusher was held in check on the ground but scored on a 34-yard pass from Kyle Brown for Sprayberry’s first points on a drive extended by punter Alpay Demir’s 18-yard run on a fake punt for a first down.
An onside kick gave Sprayberry the ball out of halftime and Owens ran in for a score from 2 yards out. He finished with 122 yards rushing on 24 carries.
“It was very physical,” Vavra said. “I would call his yards tough yards. He earned everything that he got. They had the box loaded, and they were very aggressive.”
Marshall and Das answered from 25 yards to maintain the lead. Josh Bush caught a 67-yard touchdown for Sprayberry before another Das touchdown from 61 yards put the game away.
“Obviously happy with the win, but we’re pretty lucky we got off to a fast start,” Varner said.
Penalties marred both teams’ nights. At the half, Allatoona had six for 60 yards, and Sprayberry was penalized seven times for 55 yards. Allatoona finished with 10 penalties for 105 yards, and Sprayberry had 12 for 85.
“We’ll go back to work and see what we’re doing wrong and what we can try to do to minimize those,” Vavra said. “We’re going to get that fixed for sure."