FOOTBALL: Dragons blank Indians
With Trevor Thomas back behind center, the Pepperell Dragons turned up their confidence on offense Friday night.
Armuchee tried to take advantage of some sparse miscues, but Pepperell stayed focused and rolled to a 57-0 Region 7-AA win on the road.
The Dragons (7-1, 6-0 7-AA) scored on six of their first seven possessions to build a 50-0 lead at halftime on their way to completing a sweep of the Floyd County schools this season. Pepperell will now wait to welcome Chattooga to Lindale next Friday in a showdown that could determine the Region 7-AA champion.
“We talked about winning the county championship and having that ability this year playing all three county schools, so we were able to accomplish that,” Pepperell head coach Rick Hurst said.
“But it gets a lot bigger next week when there’s a lot more on the line.”
Tae Hammond once again led the charge for the Dragons on the ground as he completed the first half with eight carries for 158 yards and four touchdowns.
Thomas, who sat out last week’s game against Dade County with a slight injury, was 8-of-10 for 102 yards in the first half and threw two touchdowns in the game.
“I thought offensively we did a very good job mixing it up tonight,” Hurst said. “We threw the ball well and were very effective in the short passing game. I thought our offensive line gave Trevor time tonight in the pocket and our receivers got a chance to get it in their hands.”
Hammond scored on runs of 9, 39, 64 and 23 yards, sprinting his way into the secondary nearly untouched for most of those. He also threw a pass to Braden Adams for a two-point conversion.
“Tae had another outstanding night,” Hurst said. “He continues to have impressive nights, and we’re going to lean on him as long as we possibly can, but we’re going to have to have a big game from everybody next week.”
Armuchee (2-7, 1-5) had four straight four-and-outs in the first half, although two of them were separated by a flubbed punt return by Pepperell that the Indians’ Connar Vinson recovered.
Down 29-0, Armuchee opened the second quarter with a drive that put them on Pepperell’s 36 before turning the ball over on downs.
Back-to-back penalties forced Pepperell to punt on the ensuing possession, but Indians running back Adam Hart fumbled the ball on Armuchee’s next play from scrimmage and Adams scooped it up for a score.
Darien Pasley completed a 60-yard touchdown run with 45.9 seconds left in the first half to put the Dragons up 49-0, and Ramiro Alanis kicked the fifth of six extra points.
Armuchee will complete the regular season next week at Dade County.