Abdellaoui's late field goal lifts Cougars over Knights



JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - Adam Abdellaoui kicked a 34-yard field goal in the final five seconds of last Friday night's game, Nov. 8, to give Chattahoochee a season-ending 23-22 victory over Centennial. The Knights had taken a 22-20 lead with two minutes to play on a Devin O'Neill field goal before the Cougars put together a game-winning drive that covered 63 yards in 15 plays.

The Cougars took an early lead on a 55-yard touchdown run by Chase Nelson before O'Neill kicked the first of his three field goals. The Knights went ahead 16-7 on two touchdown passes by Tee Holland, one for 5 yards to Kenyon Russell and one for 22 yards to Christian Robinson, who caught seven passes for 128 yards.

Chattahoochee closed within 16-10 at the half on a 49-yard field goal by Abdellaoui, and took the lead when Avery Ward returned an interception 78 yards for a touchdown in the third period.

O'Neill kicked a field goal late in the quarter to put Centennial ahead 19-17, but Abdellaoui pinned the Knights back at their 5 on a punt, then kicked a 46-yard field goal to give the Cougars a 20-19 lead.

Centennial broke a screen pass for 58 yards and regained the lead on an O'Neill field goal before Chattahoochee quarterback Taz Wilson led the Cougars down the field to Abdellaoui's game-winning kick.

Caden Herring rushed for 202 yards for the Knights, who had 466 yards total offense. Holland passed for 168 yards, splitting time with senior Matthew Harries, who had been relegated to defense in recent weeks because of a thumb injury.

Centennial finished 1-9, 1-6 in Region 6-AAAAAA, with three losses by a combined six points and several other games in which the Knights led at halftime.

“It's been a cruel year,” Centennial coach Jeff Carlberg said. “I feel bad for the kids. We just didn't get any breaks.”

Chattahoochee coach Mike Owens credited Wilson with some sound decision making throughout the game, especially in the Cougars' late drive. Wilson did not have a big game passing as the Knights double-covered Colin Lisa, the Cougars' top receiver. But the Chattahoochee quarterback contributed some key runs, as the Cougars ended up 2-5 in the region and 4-6 overall.

Nelson keyed Chattahoochee's running attack with 96 yards on 11 carries.

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