By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC
Somewhere there is a catchy nickname to be made – like Georgia’s “Gurshall” – out of McEachern’s three-headed running attack of Ty Clemons, Ty Griffin and Taj Griffin.
In the meantime, you can just call them “fast.”
They combined for more than 300 yards rushing and accounted for all of the Indians’ scores in a 42-28 win over their Cobb County and Region 4AAAAAA rivals, South Cobb. The win put McEachern (5-2, 5-0) in the driver’s seat in the race for the region title, while the loss was the first of the season for the Eagles (5-1, 3-1).
After dropping their first two games of the season to Grayson (31-12) and Walton (37-35), McEachern has won five in a row and is averaging 36 points per game during the streak.
“We’ve got a young team and we knew it was going to be hard for us to play the defending champions (Grayson) and the defending runners-up (Walton) in the first two games of the season,” McEachern head coach Kyle Hockman said. “But we knew we’d be OK if we didn’t focus on the score and we just kept working hard.”
Among those talented kids are Clemons and Ty Griffin, two seniors who sub in and out for each other at quarterback in the Indians’ spread, zone-read offense, which at times morphs into a pistol and the old single wing. But no matter what the formation, the two signal callers are always a threat.
“We have their plays scripted and sometimes we go with a feel,” Hockman said of the manner in which his offensive staff uses the dual quarterbacks. “They’re very unselfish. Great leaders for our team and they do a great job together.”
In the first half, it was Clemons doing the damage, rushing for touchdowns of 22 and 60 yards to give McEachern a 13-7 lead at the half.
South Cobb marched 77 yards in nine plays on their initial drive of the second half, and Ryan Sumner darted in from 2-yards out to give the Eagles the lead, 14-13.
But then Ty Griffin went to work. He scored McEachern’s next three touchdowns, all in the third quarter, on runs of 35, 41 and 26 yards to push the Indians’ lead to 35-14, which essentially put the game away heading into the fourth quarter.
In the final period Taj Griffin, a sophomore, had touchdown runs of 16 and 50 yards called back on penalties. But Clemons added one more touchdown – a 16-yard run he capped with a head-first dive into the endzone – to close out the scoring for McEachern.
“Taj is a special, special athlete,” Hockman said. “He’s got special talent. God has blessed us with some talent and the kids are working hard to get better every week.”
McEachern 0 13 22 7 42
South Cobb 0 7 7 14 28
McE – Ty Clemons 22 run (kick failed)
McE – Clemons 60 run (Denis Dominquez kick)
SC – Stephon Masha 1 run (Carlos Saldona kick)
SC – Ryan Sumner 2 run (Saldona kick)
McE — Ty Griffin 35 run (Ty Griffin run)
McE – Ty Griffin 41 run (Dominquez kick)
McE – Ty Griffin 26 run (Dominquez kick)
SC – Chris Simon 40 pass from Masha (Saldona kick)
McE – Clemons 16 run (Dominquez kick)
SC – Chauncey Ingram 7 run (Dominquez kick)