The Grangers were within 13 at the half, but they were outscored 19-0 in the second half by the Patriots (8-0 overall), who remained tied for first place in Region 5-AAAA with a 5-0 record.
LaGrange (4-4, 3-2 in region play), meanwhile, now faces a critical showdown against Troup Friday night.
Both teams come into the game with 3-2 region records.
“About any way slice it, we win next week, we’re going to be in a position for a playoff bid or a mini-game for one,” LaGrange head coach Donnie Branch said. “Any way you slice it, that’s an opportunity. We just need to win next week.”
After Troup, LaGrange closes the regular season against a Carrollton team that’s tied with Sandy Creek for the top spot in the region.
Against Sandy Creek, LaGrange scored a couple of first-half touchdowns to stay within shouting distance.
After Sandy Creek built a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, Demoton Boyd took a kickoff at his own 5-yard line and went 95 yards for the touchdown to make it a 13-6 game with 4:41 showing on the clock.
The Patriots responded with two touchdowns to go on top 27-6 early in the second quarter, and the Grangers came right back with their only offensive score of the night.
On a third-down play, quarterback Zach Giddens found a wide-open Tavone Rivers down the field, and the two connected for a 77-yard touchdown.
Taylor Stanford’s extra point cut the Patriots’ lead to 27-13, which was the score at the half.
The Grangers got the ball first in the second half with a chance to cut into the lead, but they went three-and-out and punted.
The Patriots then marched down the field and scored a touchdown, and they didn’t look back.
“We had the ball coming out (in the third quarter). We’re down, but we had a little bit of momentum,” Branch said. “We needed the offense to drive it, but we didn’t, and then they get going.”
The Patriots got it done with a powerful ground game and a potent passing attack led by quarterback Cole Garvin.
The Patriots scored first on a 13-yard scoring pass from Garvin to Demarre Kitt, and they added another touchdown on a 9-yard run from Eric Swinney.
After Boyd’s kickoff return for a score, the Patriots came right back and scored on a 24-yard run by Swinney, and Delvin Weems padded the lead with an 11-yard touchdown run, and Sandy Creek was up 27-6 early in the second quarter.
The Grangers answered with Smith’s long touchdown pass to Rivers, and it was a 14-point game.
In the second half, the Patriots got an 8-yard scoring run from Swinney, a 4-yard touchdown run from Weems and a 4-yard touchdown run from Maceo Brown.
“They’re really, really talented,” Branch said of Sandy Creek. “They have a good scheme, and they run it well, and they have talented people running it.”