“It was pretty intense with both teams going at it,” Crown’s Brady Warren said. “There was a lot of hard hitting. It was a great game. It finished the way it should’ve. We’ll take that to the semifinals.”
This game was very focused on defense, with much lower scoring than most games played by the Knights.
Crown’s defense sacked the East Atlanta quarterback multiple times, and its secondary was also able to disrupt the Mustangs’ passing game with two crucial interceptions by Chase Walter and Daniel Matteson.
The first score of the game didn’t come until the second quarter when Crown quarterback Hamilton Armour connected with Samuel Buhler for a 21-yard pass. Neither team scored during the remainder of the quarter.
As the third quarter began, the Mustangs pulled ahead, with a 65-yard pass that led to a touchdown. East Atlanta then successfully went for a 2-point conversion and took an 8-7 lead.
Right when things were looking grim for Crown, A.J. Redlinger kicked a 45-yard field goal to give the Knights the lead again at 10-8.
The Mustangs came back on another drive with a pass play to reach the goal line. They proceeded to run the ball in for a touchdown, but failed on the 2-point conversion and left the score 14-10 in East Atlanta’s favor with 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Crown continued to battle as Armour threw a 25-yard pass to Redlinger to bring the ball to the 26-yard line. Armour then handed the ball to Simeon Buhler, who ran the ball in for a touchdown with 5 minutes remaining.
After East Atlanta regained possession late in the game and began to mount a final drive, Matteson came away with an interception with 1:09 left, and the Knights proceeded to kneel on the ball to run out the clock.
“I was just thinking to catch it and then fall down to make sure I don’t lose it,” Matteson said of his interception. “I had a similar play last week, so I was expecting it.”
“Our defensive line had a really great game. Our running backs had a decent game,” Armour said. “In the second half, we did a really good job maintaining possession and driving down the field, even though we had some errors in the end with the fumbling and ball-handling. Overall, I think our defensive line won the game for us.”