Lowndes didn’t score 92 points like it did a week ago.
The Vikings settled for 57.
No. 7 Lowndes rolled into Norcross, didn’t score in the first quarter and proceeded to big-play the Blue Devils into submission. Quarterback Michael Barrett accounted for six touchdowns and Lowndes eliminated Norcross 57-21 and advanced to the Class AAAAAAA quarterfinals to play Westlake.
“I’m really proud of our kids. Came in and played great … a great game for us,” Lowndes coach Randy McPherson said. “Our kids have been playing hard and playing well. They did not surprise me.”
Lowndes quarterback Michael Barrett carried the day for the Vikings (10-2). He completed 16 of 21 passes for 394 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 132 yards and three touchdowns.
Lowndes running back Travis Tisdale rushed eight times for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Tyson Harris caught seven passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
Lowndes had 11 plays of 20 yards or more and wound up with 775 total yards.
“We’ve made some big plays this year,” McPherson said. “Our kids played really well.”
Norcross (11-1) was led by quarterback Baron Radcliff, who completed 13 of 32 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted twice.
Norcross had its chances in the first period. The Blue Devils twice drove into Lowndes territory and Cole Hanna missed a pair of 34-yard field goal tries.
“Driving down there twice in the first quarter really hurt us momentum-wise,” Norcross coach Keith Maloof said. “Then we let them get going and we never could catch up. They’re really good offensively. We felt we had what we needed to have and we just didn’t execute like we have in the past.
Lowndes finally broke through with a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. Travis Tisdale broke up the middle for a 20-yard touchdown run. The try for two points failed.
Norcross answered on a drive that culminated in a 33-yard pass from Radcliff to Jared Simpkins. The Blue Devils led 7-6 with 10:15 left in the quarter. But 14 seconds later they were trailing 12-7 when Barrett faked a dive and kept it for an 80-yard touchdown run.
Barrett later scored on a 1-yard run and Tisdale scored on an 83-yard run two plays after Lowndes’ Fred Stewart intercepted a pass. The Vikings upped the lead to 33-7 when Barrett threw a strike to Xavier Jenkins, who caught the ball in stride and scored on a 29-yard reception.
“We just started figuring out what we could do and what was going to work and then started executing,” McPherson said.
Lowndes scored in the third quarter on a 10-yard pass from Barrett to Harris and on a 25-yard field goal from Colton Broome. Norcross scored a pair of touchdowns, a 40-yard pass from Radcliff to Simpkins and a 54-yard pass to Robert Sims.
Lowndes added two more touchdowns in the fourth period, a 1-yard run by Barrett and a 44-yard pass from Barrett to Harris.