Current Weather Conditions
Taking advantage of three big first half plays by the defense, the Screven County High School Gamecocks of Ron Duncan subdued the previously unbeaten Harlem Bulldogs by a 35-13 margin in the Region 3AA opener for each team at Bulldog Stadium Sept. 30.
SCHS now stands at 3-2 overall with their second consecutive victory.
In a rematch of the game that proved to be the region championship contest a year ago, the Lucy Laney Wildcats will be at Kelly Memorial Stadium Friday night.
Spotting the Dawgs a 7-0 when an opponent scored on yet another long play, the Dirty Bird defense actually produced the first Gamecock score when Jeremy Hawkins blocked a punt with Kenton Foy recovering for a touchdown.
The D then gave the offense the ball at the Harlem 23 and 13 on back to back possessions as SCHS roared to a 21-7 halftime lead.
“I thought the defense played well,” Duncan said. “We blew a coverage and gave up another after a fumble. Other than those two, I think we played well. They gave the offense great field position all night. It was good to get a few short yardage stops as well.”
With an inspired, nearly overflow crowd encouraging them on, the reborn Bulldogs, 4-0 for the first time since 1981, put up a TD on their first possession of the game when a short pass in the flats turned into a 55-yard scoring play.
With 8:30 on the first quarter clock, the home team and stands were rocking. For better than half a quarter, the Harlem joy continued.
However, things quickly changed in the waning minutes of that first quarter.
After stopping star Harlem running back Austin Burk for a six-yard loss on third-and-six, Hawkins broke through to block a punt with Foy scooping the ball at the three and lumbering into the end zone. Jacob Smith added the first of his five consecutive PATS and, with 2:06 on the first quarter clock, the score was 7-7.
Following an exchange of punts, Foy again stepped up big with an interception at the Harlem 23.
Four plays later setback Jimmie Robinson (6-19) headed left and cutback right for 14 yards and a score with 8:10 to go.
Five plays later SCHS was on the Harlem 13 after the defense stopped Burk for no gain on a fourth-and-inches situation as Sha’don Kemp (whose kickoff had backed the Bulldogs up to their own three) broke through for the wrap up behind the line of scrimmage.
Tavarious Johnson (11-53) on his only carry of the first half later scored from five yards out.
The second half saw the Gamecocks working to establish the run and keep the ball away from the home team.
A pair of scores came when quarterback Chandler Rigdon (3-5-0, 58 yards) hit a wide open Brian Alexander (3-53) for a 43-yard score and Johnson got his second tally following an unsuccessful fake punt (Jamie Scarboro making the tackle).
In between, Harlem drove 12 yards for a score following a fumble recovery on the final play of the third quarter.
Special teams were outstanding on the night.
In addition to his five PATS, Smith also mightily contributed to the cause as he punted four times for 43.8 average. One of them went into the end zone, the other three pinned the Bulldogs inside their 20.
On six Kemp kickoffs, the average starting position for Harlem was their own 17.
“Jacob (Smith) had a good night,” pointed out Duncan. “Our special teams have improved each and every game. Our kickoffs and coverage have been good.”
Rashad Hughley had another good game from the QB position on 8-12 for 76 yards in addition to 43 yards rushing on six carries. Desmond White snared six passes for 59 yards.
Defensively, Kemp was in on 11 tackles (2-9) and Caleb Krulic five (3-2) on the line, while linebackers Hawkins (4-4), Grace (7-3), and Foy (6-1) had big nights.
Not everything was rosy, however, as Duncan pointed out, “We shot ourselves in the foot several times with procedure penalties. It’s tough to start out first and 15 and it seems like we started that way several times during the night.”
Duncan did end on a very positive note as he said, “I just want to thank the fans that drove all the way to Harlem Friday. It means a lot to our kids.”
|Screven County Chamber of Commerce||Visit|
|Screven County School System||Visit|
|CNN Student News||Visit|
|Georgia Varsity Sports Vent||Visit|
|Georgia High School Athletics||Visit|
|Screven County Recreation Department||Visit|
|Screven County Development Authority||Visit|
|Facebook for the Sylvania Telephone||Visit|
|Facebook for the Sylvania Telephone||Visit|
|Facebook for Sylvania Telephone|