POWDER SPRINGS -- McEachern threw for only 38 yards and still beat North Forsyth 42-14 on Friday in the second round of the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs.
With the run game working so well, was often giving the Indians short fields to work with, they did not need to rely on the air.
McEachern (12-0) set the tone by scoring 20 unanswered points in the opening quarter, with two of its scoring drives starting in North Forsyth territory.
Unlike a week ago, when North Forsyth (7-5) rallied from 25 points down to beat Brookwood 44-41, the Raiders were unable to bounce back in the second half.
McEachern, which had little trouble holding on to its 20-point halftime lead, will host North Gwinnett next Friday in the state quarterfinals.
“I thought we did enough plays to win the football game,” McEachern coach Franklin Stephens said. “To be in this situation is a privilege, so we've got to come out and do our best next week to prepare. North Gwinnett’s a good football team.”
The Indians improved to 12-0 for the first time since 1999 under longtime coach Jimmy Dorsey. That year, they lost in the quarterfinals to Northside-Warner Robins.
Jordan Simmons accounted for 134 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. He put McEachern on the board with a 2-yard sweep.
Carlos Del Rio-Wilson gave McEachern a 13-0 lead on a 24-yard scramble. That came on the heels of an 8-yard sack by Justin Akomah after North Forsyth opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from its own 32-yard line.
Jamari Bellamy put the Indians up by 20 with 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter when he intercepted a Brady Meitz pass and returned it 68 yards for a touchdown.
After McEachern returned the favor by giving North Forsyth a touchdown on an interception return, Simmons added a 52-yard score to put the Indians in front by 20 at the half.
To avoid a second straight comeback by North Forsyth, the Indians came out and got back-to-back stops to start the second half -- the second coming on four plays.
McEachern then launched a 5-minute, 11-play drive without throwing the ball that ended with a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Del Rio-Wilson. However, the highlight of the drive came two plays earlier, on fourth-and-8, when Del Rio-Wilson eluded a couple of sacks, changed course and got 15 yards and a first down.
“We created some good runs tonight and were very patient,” Stephens said.
Bryce Archie, who started the game at quarterback before rotating with Del Rio-Wilson, capped the scoring with a 6-yard pass to Javon Baker in the fourth.