Lashaun Lester pushed his way 10-yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter and Luis Medina made the extra point to provide all of the scoring Chattooga would need Friday night to defeat Washington 7-6 at Little Big Horn Stadium.
It is the first time ever the Indians have won a state playoff game at home, and it was the first time in 18 years that they had the chance.
The Indians (9-2) blocked the extra point from Washington’s Khalil Pezant when the Bulldogs scored on their first drive in the first quarter on an 11-yard pass from Adrien Williams to Vachon Raye to set up a one-point lead later in the half.
Washington (7-4) punted on every possession afterwards until the fourth quarter when Williams fumbled the ball on the snap from his own 33. Medina — who is usually lined up at defensive end for Chattooga — reached the loose ball first and put the Indians back on offense with 4:14 left to play.
On fourth-and-1 on the ensuing drive, Chattooga quarterback Clayton Johnson was able to sneak the ball up the middle for the first down with less than a minute and a half to go. With neither team having a time out, two kneels were all it took to run out the clock.
“The kids could have quit early and we could have got beat by 30,” Chattooga head coach Charles Hammon said. “And I’ve had football teams that, after that first quarter of play, would have done that.
“We’ve been playing well defensively for the last four weeks. It’s been clicking over there a little bit. We had to make some changes a couple of times. But they’re resilient and we’re proud of them.”
The Indians got off to a rocky start on offense as they began the game with three straight penalties. Washington would then capitalize on its passing game to score on the next drive.
It would be Chattooga’s fourth possession of the night that proved the difference as the Indians started on their own 34. A few plays in and Lester broke free for a 37-yard run down to the Washington 23. E.J. Lackey got the ball down to the 10 and Lester did the rest.
“Our offense was slow early. We were trying to do some different things that really didn’t work,” Hammon said. “We went back to what we’ve done all season and the kids kind of set in on it. We creased them there one time with a big run and that’s the game.”
Chattooga will go on the road next week to take on Region 8-AA champion Rabun County, who shut out Spencer 65-0 on Friday night.