Christian Heritage defeat Dominion Christian 56-20 in semifinals

Lions RB Terrell Wilson (40) scores on Dominion

Lions RB Terrell Wilson (40) scores on Dominion

THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE DALTON CITIZEN NEWSPAPER:

Christian Heritage has earned its chance to win back-to-back league titles.

The Lions defeated Dominion Christian, 56-20, in the Glory For Christ Football League semifinals on Saturday at Riverwood High School in Sandy Springs and will play the North Georgia Falcons — who beat the Georgia Force, 7-0, in the day’s other semifinal — at 2 p.m. this Saturday at Riverwood.

Coach Mike Vaden said his Lions (9-1) executed their game plan well against Dominion Christian (7-3), a team they beat 27-12 during the regular season.

“We played really hard,” Vaden said. “Offensively, we moved the ball and, defensively, we contained their speed, which was our main concern heading into the game.”

The Lions jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run from Daniel Pierce and a 25-yard pass from Pierce to Mason Sikes. But before the period ended, Dominion Christian blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown and, after a two-point conversion run, the score was 14-8.

Christian Heritage pulled away in the second quarter with three scores of 2 or fewer yards from Terrell Wilson, Pierce and Ethan Turnmire.

Pierce’s scoring run came on a 98-yard drive after a goal-line stand by the Lions defense.

“It seems like after Pierce’s score,” said Vaden, “that really took the life out of them.”

The Lions then scored twice in the third quarter on a 9-yard run for Pierce and a 23-yard pass from Pierce to Sikes, while Turnmire added a 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Dominion scored on a 5-yard pass in the third and a 27-yard run in the fourth.

Lions kicker Nick Jang was 6-for-6 on extra point kicks before leaving the game with an ankle sprain suffered while playing defensive back. In Jang’s absence, Cody Stansell converted two extra-point kicks.

Vaden said he expects Jang will be available to kick in next week’s game against the Falcons.

Last season, the Lions went 12-0 and won the league title with a 33-7 victory against the Crown Knights. In order for Christian Heritage to defend its title, the Lions must beat the Falcons (9-2), who handed them their only loss of the season, 13-6, last month in Dalton.

Vaden is hoping for better circumstances and a different outcome in the rematch.

“It’s going to be tough,” he said. “We’re praying not to have to play in the mud like we did the last game. The key to us next week will be making sure we don’t turn the ball over and taking advantage of every opportunity given to us.”

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