Carter Payne

George Walton's Carter Payne (13) makes a tackle on a Fellowship Christian ball carrier during a high school football contest in Roswell, GA on Nov. 13, 2021.

ROSWELL, Ga. — The Bulldogs sneaked into the playoffs with a head-to-head victory against Loganville Christian last week, earning a postseason berth despite a 2-8 record.

The playoff run died before it barely started, however, after the Paladins crushed the Bulldogs in Roswell 42-7 to end George Walton's unlikely second season while still in the cradle.

The Bulldogs saw their opening drive cut short by an interception that returned the ball to GWA territory, after which the Paladins needed only three plays to reach the end zone on a 13-yard touchdown pass.

The pattern was set. GWA punted away its second possession, only to see the Paladins march down the field with hardly a misstep, scoring on a 5-yard touchdown dash.

The Paladins recorded another interception on the next drive, scoring again three plays later before the first quarter had expired.

George Walton started the second half with their best runs of the day, earning their first first downs without a Paladin penalty, but bogged down at the Fellowship 35-yard line and punted it away.

Starting at their own 6, the Paladins were undaunted, marching right into Bulldogs territory. The Paladins saw their first third and fourth downs of the game, but converted on fourth-and-3 to ultimately score on a 7-yard touchdown run. 

The Bulldogs rolled the dice on the next drive, taking advantage of an offsides penalty to attempt a fake punt on 4th and 1 from their own 40, only to see the line stuffed and the ball go over on downs. 

Yet again, it took only three plays for the Paladins to record a 5-yard touchdown run to go up 35-0 just before the half. 

The third quarter was quiet, as the Paladin back-ups and the Bulldogs traded punts, with a Bulldog fumble setting up the Paladins deep in Bulldog territory right before the fourth quarter. 

Yet the Paladins fumbled it right back to George Walton to start the final quarter, squandering the prine scoring chance.

The Bulldogs took advantage, as Carter Payne took the ball on third-and-long and dashed 84 yards for the Bulldogs' only touchdown of the game. 

Yet the Paladins stormed right back, returning the ensuing kickoff past midfield before driving down to score a 17-yard touchdown run.

The Bulldogs finished the season 2-9.

News Editor

Stephen Milligan is the news editor of The Walton Tribune. He lives in Monroe and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

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