By Robert Haddocks
After scoring a total of six points in its first two games, Grayson relied on a “relentless” running game and pounded Parkview 34-10 in the region opener for both teams.
Grayson (1-2) rolled up 365 yards rushing, led by Aares McCall with 174 and Cameryn Brent with 117. Mohamed Barry, pitched in with 89 yard and two touchdowns before leaving with a shoulder injury early in the second half.
“The offensive line definitely won the battles up front tonight,” said Grayson coach Mickey Conn. “The running backs were relentless the way they ran the football. The idea was to come in and run the football and that’s what our running backs and offensive line did.”
The win was a huge confidence boost for the Rams, who were determined to not start the season 0-3 after losses to two of the best teams in the state (Colquitt and North Gwinnett). Parkview, a playoff team last season, falls to 0-3, 0-1 in Region 8-AAAAAA. The Panthers previous losses were to ranked teams, Peachtree Ridge and Norcross.
The Rams’ offensive line benefited from the return of Austin Hamilton, who was out with an ankle injury. Conn also tweaked the big boys up front, moving Chase King from tight end to guard. They dominated, with Barry and Brent repeatedly busting up the middle and the slippery McCall using his speed to bounce outside. “Up front, that’s where you win football games,” Conn said.
Daniel Fennell’s 7-yard touchdown gave Grayson a 27-0 lead just before the end of the third quarter, but Parkview got its lone touchdown when Jeremy Lacey broke free for a 53-yard run. Leading 14-0 at the half, Grayson blew the game open on Parkview’s first drive when Justin Young intercepted a pass and returned it 30 yards to the five-yard line. Three plays later, Brent punched it in from three yards out and Austin Hoyt kicked the point after for a 21-0 lead.
Shut out in their last game, the Rams took their opening possession of the game and drove 80 yards in 10 plays with Barry finishing the drive with an 8-yard touchdown run. The junior scored his second touchdown, also from eight yards, in the second quarter to give Grayson a 14-0 lead, which it took into halftime.
Grayson – 7 – 7 – 13 – 7 – 34
Parkview – 0 – 0 – 7 – 3 – 10
G – Mohamed Barry 8 run (Austin Hoyt kick)
G – Barry 8 run (Hoyt kick)
G – Cameryn Brent 3 run (Hoyt kick)
G – Daniel Fennell 7 run (PAT no good)
P – Jeremy Lacey 53 run (Eric Autry kick)
G – Aares McCall 33 run (Hoyt kick)
P – Autry 43 FG