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Sixth-ranked Cleveland cruises past Sand Rock, 40-7

Staff Reports

SAND ROCK – Cleveland senior quarterback Logan Washburn connected on 7-of-12 pass attempts for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 120 yards on 13 carries with two scores in the sixth-ranked Panthers’ 40-7 Class 2A, Region 6 victory at Sand Rock on Friday.

With the win, Cleveland (7-2, 6-1) clinched the second playoff spot from the region and will host a game in the first round of the state playoffs on Nov. 5. Sand Rock (6-3, 4-3) dropped to the fourth spot with the loss and will travel to Mars Hill in the first round.

The Panthers took a 7-0 lead with 6:46 remaining in the first quarter on Tyler Smith’s 12-yard touchdown run. Smith finished with 154 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown.

The Panthers scored two more times in the second quarter to go up 21-0 at halftime. Washburn connected with Jacob Johnson for a 65-yard score at the 10:39 mark. Washburn added a 7-yard run with two minutes to go before halftime.

Washburn opened the second-half scoring with a 48-yard touchdown pass to Pierce Gilliland to put the Panthers in front 27-0 just 19 seconds into the third quarter.

Gilliland had three catches for 74 yards and a score through the air.

Sand Rock (6-3, 4-3) finally got on the scoreboard on the ensuing kickoff. Heath Driver dashed 76 yards for a touchdown. Bryan East’s extra point made it 27-7 Panthers.

Driver finished with five kickoff returns for 162 total yards and a touchdown.

Cleveland tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the final. The first came on a Washburn 13-yard run, and the second was a 10-yard score by Gilliland for the final.

Sand Rock quarterback Ace Ashley completed 14-of-23 pass attempts for 117 yards. Jacob Cornejo caught four passes for 42 yards. Trace Haygood led the Wildcat defense with eight tackles.

Sand Rock closes out the regular season on Thursday at Cedar Bluff. Cleveland is at Susan Moore on Friday.

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