CANTON -- Sprayberry used a dominant second half to upset Creekview 34-14 and earn a historic win in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.
It was the first state playoff win in the history of a Yellow Jackets program that played its first game in 1958. Sprayberry (6-4) will remain on the road, making the trip to Carrollton in the second round.
Sprayberry jumped out to an early lead on the first possession of the game as running back Damarion Owens scored from 2 yards to gain a 7-0 lead in the first
Creekview (7-3) answered back in the second quarter with Tyler Stevens scoring his first of two touchdowns on the night from 1 yard out.
Sprayberry, however, saw its lead running back suffer a significant leg injury as Owens was carted off the field and transported to a hospital.
Play was stopped for about 30 minutes as medical personnel attended to Owens. Players from both teams took a knee to pray during the stoppage.
Owens finished with 10 carries for 24 yards with a touchdown, and a catch for 12 yards.
"Damarion is a very special player," Sprayberry coach Brett Vavra said. "He is the backbone of our team, and he's a big reason for our success -- pretty much the heart and sole of this team."
After a quick warmup, play resumed, and both teams went into the half tied at 7-all.
From there on, it was all Sprayberry.
Isaiah Abbey shouldered the load after Owens' injury, carrying the ball 25 times for 193 yards on the night, including a 69-yard touchdown that sealed the win for the Yellow Jackets.
Creekview managed only seven points in the second half, which came on the second rushing touchdown of the night by Stevens, on a 1-yard run.
As the final horn sounded, Creekview coach Trevor Williams spoke about his team's performance and reflected on the season, especially about his seniors.
"Our defense got worn down in the second half," he said. "We just couldn't get into a rhythm. Credit their defense. They played outstanding. Just want to thank my senior class for their four years here -- winning 31 games, which is the most in their class history. Just appreciative of them, and I'm going to miss them like heck."
Williams also spoke about Owens' injury.
"While we as a team were kneeling here after the game, we wanted to say a prayer for that young men and wish him a full recovery," Williams said. "He's one heck of a football player."