By Jeff Haws
For the AJC
Washington had its chance, doubling Grady in yardage and time of possession in the first half.
But the Grey Knights still led by a touchdown and Hughston Leaks’ 162 yards on 20 carries led Grady to a 26-12 win to remain undefeated.
It was a wild first 24 minutes, as the Bulldogs appeared to be controlling the game, marching down the field with two long early drives and stifling the Grady offense.
One of those drives ended with a Frank Barthelemy 1-yard touchdown run to get Washington (2-3, 1-1 in Region 5-AAA) on the board first, 6-0.
Meanwhile, the Grey Knights were getting little out of their offense and needed a spark to put up some points. They got it with three straight plays in the second quarter.
It started at the end of another time-consuming Bulldogs drive, as Aaron Cooper juggled and then grabbed a Ronnie Humphries pass behind the line of scrimmage and scampered 34 yards for the tying touchdown.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Bulldogs got confused on a short kick and never fielded it, leaving the door open for the Grey Knights to fall on it at the Washington 32-yard line.
And on the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Kivon Taylor threw the ball into the end zone to a double-covered Deshawn Benton. The ball bounced off both defenders’ hands, and Benton grabbed it for the touchdown.
In three plays, the game had gone from a 6-point Washington lead to a 7-point Grady advantage, and the Grey Knights (5-0, 2-0) would never trail again.
For the Bulldogs, it seemed like that never should have happened.
In the first half, Washington led in plays from scrimmage (35-13), time of possession (16:02-7:58) and total yards (130-60).
Still, by the time Hughston Leaks ran the ball in from 19 yards out at the end of the second half’s opening possession, Washington found itself down 19-6 to an opportunistic Grady team.
The Bulldogs had one last shot to get back into the game. Following a touchdown to make it 19-12, they had a first down at the Grady 26-yard line as the third quarter ended.
But on fourth down, Humphries threw an interception to Benton. Three plays later, Leaks turned the left corner and ran 89 yards untouched for a touchdown that put the game away.
Washington got 79 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries from Frank Barthelemy, while teammate Antavis Rowe added 76 yards on 7 carries, including a 46-yard touchdown run.
W 0 6 6 0
G 0 13 6 7
W – Frank Barthelemy 1 run (kick failed)
G – Aaron Cooper 34 INT return (kick failed)
G – Deshawn Benton 32 pass from Kivon Taylor (Dorian Greene kick)
G – Hughston Leaks 19 run (run failed)
W – Antavis Rowe 46 run (run failed)
G – Leaks 89 run (Greene kick)