The Americans scored a safety and a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first half to build a 16-0 lead. The first touchdown came on a 3-yard run by Forsyth Central RB/ATH Petyton Streko and it capped a 12-play, 60-yard drive that ate up 7:20 of the opening quarter. Teammate Lucian Anderson added a 3-yard touchdown run with 5:19 left in the half and then the Americans forced a fumble that resulted in a safety at the 1:50 mark to make it 16-0.
The Americans received the ball to start the second half and traded 7-play, 5-minute drives with the Nationals in what would be a scoreless period. The Americans got the ball down to the Nationals 7-yard line early in the fourth quarter, but Colson Brown’s 30-yard field goal attempt was no good. The Nationals turned it over on downs on their following possession and gave the Americans the ball back at their own 36-yard line with 6:45 left in the game.
From there, the Americans fed the ball to Streko on five straight snaps, and his fifth carry resulted his second touchdown of the game in what was a spectacular 20-yard run. Harrison Brooks made the PAT and the American Team’s lead grew to 23-0 with just 2:55 left. The National Team’s final possession of the game ended with a Gabe Harris sack with just 10 seconds left.
Streko, who played in the Eighth Grade Game at last year’s Classic, finished with a game-high 120 rushing yards off of 14 carries and was named the MVP. American quarterback Lucian Anderson completed all four of his pass attempts for 36 yards and Marek Briley was the team’s leading receiver with three catches for 28 yards.
Nationals quarterback Dylan Lonergan (Brookwood) finished 9-of-18 passing for 68 yards. One of the highlights of the game was Lonergan’s 34-yard pass to receiver RJ Johnson (ELCA) in the first quarter. Johnson used a diving, one-handed effort to complete the incredibly-difficult catch.
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