By Robert Haddocks
There wasn’t much deception involved. Just hand the ball to Cameryn Brent.
Brent carried the ball 40 times for a career-high 221 yards as Grayson ran over Central Gwinnett for a 27-19 win. The Rams didn’t complete a pass, but racked up 335 rushing yards to secure the Region 8-AAAAAA win. Grayson improves to 3-3, 3-1. Central drops to 2-3, 2-1.
“Cameron ran wild,” said Grayson coach Mickey Conn.
Brent, a sophomore who didn’t play a lick of varsity last season, admitted he’s surprised by his success. He credited his lineman for his huge night, which included two touchdowns. “My offensive line played their butts off,” he said. “They did what they needed to do for us to get this win.”
Grayson came out flat in the first half and trailed the Black Knights, 13-7 at the half. Conn described halftime as “pretty explosive from my end.” The offensive line, led by seniors Owen Painter, Austin Hamilton, Lane Seale and Kevon Burke, got the message.
“We challenged the O-Line to take over the ball game,” Conn said. “We said ‘let’s win this thing in the trenches and that’s what we were able to do.”
Brent’s second touchdown of the night from 14 yards gave Grayson a 14-13 lead in the third quarter. He and Aares McCall, Mohamed Barry continued the ground assault. Barry’s 4-yard run put Grayson up 20-13 and McCall found the end zone on a beautiful 27-yard run, cutting back across the field to pad the margin.
A 12-yard run by Major Bellamy trimmed the lead to 27-19. But Jordan Hayes grabbed his second interception and Grayson ran out the clock.
“We know if we play four quarters, nobody can stop us.” Brent said.
Grayson, which was playing without starting quarterback Hunter Schuessler, threw the ball only five times, none in the second half.
After Brent’s 28-yard touchdown run gave Grayson a 7-0 lead one minute into the second period, Central took to the air in response. The Black Knights drove 80 yards in five plays, aided by long completions to Adonis Thomas (41 yards) and Chris Shelling (30 yards). Nigel Adams scored on a 3-yard run to tie the game at 7-7.
Thomas wasn’t done. After an interception by Charles King gave Central possession with less than a minute remaining in the half, Thomas ran a fly pattern and grabbed a heave from Forrest, wrestling the ball away from two defenders and prancing into the end zone. After a rough start, in which he was sacked three times and hurriedly threw the ball for short completions, Forrest completed nine of 12 passes for 147 yards. Central led at the half, 13-7, despite having minus 21 yards rushing.
Grayson – 0 – 7 - 13 – 7 – 27
Central – 0 – 13 – 0 – 6 – 19
G – Cameryn Brent 28 run (Austin Hoyt kick)
CG – Nigel Adams 3 run (Ricky Ortiz kick)
CG – Adonis Thomas 48 pass from Eric Forrest (kick failed)
G – Brent 14 run (Hoyt kick)
G – Mohamed Barry 4 run (kick failed)
G – Aares McCall (Hoyt kick)
CG – Major Bellamy 12 run (run failed)