For at least the first half, it was the "East Cobb Super Bowl" that coach Rocky Hidalgo had dubbed Friday's showdown at Raider Valley with .
Both teams came in undefeated. Lassiter has been ranked in the AAAAA polls since upsetting defending state champion Brookwood to start the season. Walton has been just out of the rankings but rolled up big wins along the way.
Two of the programs that have helped Cobb raise its high school football profile in recent years were meeting at just the right time, with quite a bit on the line.
As Todd Holcomb of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote, "East Cobb hasn't been Georgia's football mecca, but it's gaining tradition."
Before an overflow crowd of more than 6,000 fans, including elected officials and college football recruiters, the undefeated Region 5-AAAAA powerhouses didn't disappoint in a physical contest with plenty of big plays.
The Raiders took a 13-10 lead into halftime, but the Trojans had all the momentum with the first possesion of the second half and were threatening to go on top when the game turned in favor of Walton.
Lassiter was forced to kick a short field goal but missed, and Walton pulled away for good on the next drive. The Raiders' seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive was aided by two late hit penalties agains the Trojans, and Walton was on its way to a decisive 34-10 victory.
Tyren Jones, a former Lassiter player, rushed for 141 yards on 36 carries as the Raiders (6-0, 2-0) chewed up time with their ground game, making it hard for the Trojans' passing-oriented offense and quarterback Eddie Printz to make up the deficit. Printz, who's bound for SMU, threw for only 187 yards for Lassiter (4-1, 0-1), despite completing 24 of 43 passes.
That's because Walton's defense was stellar the whole night, with defensive back Zach Blaylock intercepting a tipped pass and returning it 89 yards for a touchdown in the first half.
We have video highlights forthcoming that will show just how dominant Walton's defense was.