By Michael Alpert
For the AJC
Defending Class AAAAA champion Grayson had little difficulty handling visiting Central Gwinnett 52-0 in a Region 8-AAAAAA game Friday night.
The No. 8 Rams scored on six of eight first-half possessions en route to leading 42-0 at intermission and never were challenged seriously. Grayson wasn’t forced to punt until late in the third quarter of its sixth consecutive victory against the Black Knights.
With more than 40 points in a third consecutive game and now 36 a night on average, the Rams atoned for their lone loss in their region opener, 22-7 to Parkview, on Sept. 14.
“I like the fact that we’re scoring a lot of points,” Rams coach Mickey Conn said. “But we’re playing well on defense and special teams, too.”
Grayson dominated from the outset, outgaining Central 447-29 yards with 199 in the air and 248 on the ground. The Rams failed to score in the first half only when Wayne Gallman fumbled on Central’s 34 4:32 before intermission and when Alex Louthan missed a 28-yard field goal as the half expired. Otherwise, the Rams (5-1, 3-1) had little trouble backing up their 22-0 blanking of the Knights (3-2, 1-2) last season.
David Fennell put the Rams up 7-0 with a 4-yard run with 5:41 to play in the first quarter, and Wayne Gallman upped that to 14-0 with his 3-yarder less than three minutes later. Jay Strickland’s interception set up Jordan Germany’s 8-yard run for a 21-0 lead late in the first and David McTier’s 61-yard pass to Cory Schaeffer put the Rams ahead 28-0 with 10:49 until halftime.
McTier passed 36 yards to Germany for a 35-0 lead, and Aares McCall’s 24-yard run gave the Rams their 42-0 halftime advantage. Louthan put Grayson ahead 45-0 with his 42-yard field goal with 11:45 to play, and Christian Rall provided Grayson’s final margin on a 5-yard run with about three minutes left on a running clock.
Conn likes how Grayson is playing entering next week’s region game at Berkmar, a team they’ve beaten six straight times, before hosting region co-leader South Gwinnett the following week. Conn said region wins are vital to qualifying for the playoffs as Grayson aims for a sixth consecutive appearance in at least the state quarterfinals.
“It’s all about getting into the playoffs at this point and making a run,” he said.
GRAYSON 52, CENTRAL GWINNETT 0
Central Gwinnett: 0 0 0 0 – 0
Grayson: 21 21 0 10 – 52
G — David Fennell 4 run (Alex Louthan kick)
G — Wayne Gallman 3 run (Louthan kick)
G — Jordan Germany 8 run (Louthan kick)
G — Cory Schaeffer 61 pass from David McTier (Louthan kick)
G — Germany 36 pass from McTier (Louthan kick)
G — Aares McCall 24 run (Louthan kick)
G — Louthan 42 FG
G — Christian Rall 5 run (Louthan kick)