Miles Smith almost single-handedly kept Glynn Academy in its second-round contest against No. 1 Dacula on Friday with two forced fumbles that directly led to points.
But once the Falcons tightened up their ball security, they blew the Terrors away en route to a 42-20 victory at Barron Field.
“That was a really good football team,” said Glynn head coach Rocky Hidalgo. “They’re No. 1 ranked in the state, they deserve that. They’re probably one of the two or three best teams I’ve coached against the past six years. They’re super talented, they’re well coached, the kids play hard.
“Our kids played really hard in the game, they really did, but that team was better than us tonight.”
Glynn Academy (6-5) hung with undefeated Dacula (12-0) early on despite a game-long struggle to run the ball against a defense that entered the game holding opponents to 12.5 points per contest.
The Terrors drove the ball into Falcons territory on each of their first two possessions before ultimately stalling and punting the ball.
Dacula made the most of its first possession, taking the punt and driving 70 yards to take a 7-0 lead on the first of two touchdown passes to Konata Mumpfield on the night, but Smith made his presence felt on the second.
One play after Chase Gabriel pinned the Falcons down on the 3 yard line, Smith met the ball carrier at the line of scrimmage and both forced and recovered a fumble to set the Red Terrors up in scoring position.
“He played hard,” Hidalgo said. “He’s a really good player. He plays his tail off. He got down hill and made some plays.”
Smith forced another fumble recovered by Glynn just outside the red zone on Dacula’s ensuing possession, but after each turnover, the Falcons’ defense bowed their necks and held the Terrors to a field goal to maintain a 7-6 advantage.
Although Glynn Academy’s grinding offense and some inspired defensive play kept Dacula at bay for much of the first half, it was unable to hold down an offense averaging 39.5 points for long.
It took just under two minutes for the Falcons to complete a five-play, 57-yard drive capped by Kyle Efford’s seven-yard touchdown run and go up 14-6, and after a quick Terrors three-and-out, they stuck again — this time driving 64 yards for the score in just three plays spanning 31 seconds to take a 21-6 lead into halftime.
Dacula quarterback Jarrett Jenkins found Mumpfield for another score on the first drive of the third quarter as the Falcons proceeded to run away with the game.
Glynn finally answered Dacula’s 35-6 lead in the fourth on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by TJ Lewis following Nolan Grant’s 77-yard run.
The Falcons responded with another score, but the Terrors hit paydirt again soon after on Cayden Hutchinson’s 73-yard reception.
The second-round defeat was the second in a row for Glynn Academy, which had advanced to at least the quarterfinals in each of head coach Rocky Hidalgo’s first four seasons.