Roswell quarterback Malik Willis ran for a touchdown and passed for two more, and the Hornets’ defense shut down Westlake for a 28-0 victory in the Class AAAAAAA semifinals Friday at Lakewood Stadium.
The victory puts second-ranked Roswell (14-0), the Region 4-AAAAAAA champion, in the state final for the second consecutive season and one victory from its first first championship since 2006, when it shared the Class AAAAA title with Peachtree Ridge.
The Hornets will face top-ranked Grayson at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia Dome for the championship. Roswell lost to eventual state champ Colquitt County 30-13 in the final last season.
Region 2-AAAAAAA champion Westlake was unranked coming into the postseason but made its first semifinal appearance in school history. The Lions finished the season 10-4.
Willis, a transfer from Westlake who has committed to Virginia Tech, was 14-of-22 passing and had second-half touchdown passes of 46 yards to Jayden Comma and 11 yards to Tyneil Hopper. He also ran for 53 yards on 11 carries, and his 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter gave the Hornets the lead for good.
Westlake had the ball at midfield or better seven times in the game but couldn’t take advantage because it was never able to get any offense going against a Roswell defense that has given up more than 14 points in a game only once this season.
Those seven potential scoring opportunities ended with an interception, a missed field goal, three punts and two turnovers on downs.
Westlake finished with just 139 yards of total offense, including minus-10 rushing. Quarterback Rayvaughn Burch passed for 149 yards but completed only 11 of 31 attempts and was intercepted four times, including twice by Xavier McKinney.
Roswell finished with 416 total yards, including 196 rushing. Sheldon Evans led the way with 87 yards on 16 carries.
The Hornets put together their first scoring drive late in the first quarter, taking a 7-0 lead on Willis’ 6-yard run with 1:55 to play in the quarter. Evans picked up 36 and 4 yards to move the ball to the Westlake 19, and Willis covered the remaining yardage on his next two carries.
The Hornets made it 14-0 with 2:07 to play in the first half on a 3-yard run by Evans. Roswell had taken possession at its 40 after stopping Westlake a yard short on a fourth-and-2 play. Roswell then drove 60 yards in six plays in less than a minute and a half.
Roswell – 7-7-7-7 – 28
Westlake – 0-0-0-0 – 0
R – Malik Willis 6 run (Turner Barckhoff kick)
R – Sheldon Evans 3 run (Barckhoff kick)
R – Jayden Comma 46 pass from Willis (Barckhoff kick)
R – Tyneil Hopper 11 pass from Willis (Barckhoff kick)