Cedartown High School running back Nick Chubb ran around would-be tacklers, ran past them and ran through them.
He even ran over a referee — unintentionally — during a mammoth rushing performance Friday night.
Chubb, a senior who has verbally committed to the University of Georgia, scored five touchdowns on the ground while pounding out 360 yards on 28 carries in a 42-28 win over Southeast Whitfield. Cedartown, the ninth-ranked team in the Georgia Sports Writers Association’s Class 4A poll, moved to 5-0, while the Raiders dropped to 2-2. Both of the Region 7-4A teams begin sub-region play next Friday.
“I just come out here to play,” said Chubb, who entered the game just shy of 1,000 yards rushing on the year. “I’ve got a big line in front of me. They made some mistakes — that happens. We overcame it.”
What Cedartown had to overcome was a Southeast Whitfield team that led at halftime, 21-20. The Raiders were able to move the ball at will during the first half. Senior athlete Rhett Harper had a pair of 1-yard quarterback sneaks for touchdowns and added a 3-yard scoring reception from quarterback Will Swantic.
But in the second half, the offense sputtered. The Raiders had several three-and-out drives and could muster just one scoring drive in the final two quarters. Strong offensive games came from senior Blake Foster (55 yards rushing), wide receiver Colter Faith (five catches for 69 yards and a touchdown) and Swantic (49 yards rushing, 168 yards passing and two touchdown passes).
“They showed heart and character,” Southeast Whitfield coach Sean Gray said. “We finally jelled offensively. We played with the ninth-ranked team in the state, we battled until the end, we had the lead at the half. Bottom line is they had a superstar, a superstar.”
Cedartown coach Scott Hendrix said he was pleased his defense tightened up in the second half, but was concerned with penalties (12 for 96 yards) — many of them offensive holding calls.
In the third quarter during Chubb’s third touchdown of the night, he took the handoff at the Southeast 14-yard line and scooted inside the 5, where a referee was standing and was unable to move out of the way. Chubb knocked him over, then crossed the goal line for the score.
The referee wasn’t hurt.
“It’s a win,” Hendrix said. “We’re 5-0. We’re certainly happy to come in here with a win. I think we’ve found we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Chubb’s breakaway speed was on display on the second offensive play for Cedartown when he took a handoff and raced around the left side of his line for a 66-yard touchdown run. As the evening progressed, Chubb added scoring runs of 25, 14, 72 and 4 yards.