The Stephens County Indian football team is now 3-0 on the season thanks to a strong offensive performance.
The Indians beat Hart County 49-39 Friday night in Hartwell in a non-region game.
Chaz Thornton had 241 yards rushing and three touchdowns, while Dionte Mayfield threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns for the Indians, who had just over 500 yards of total offense as a team.
The Indians three times led by more than twenty points, but Hart County did not go away and scored twice in the fourth quarter to make it close at the end.
Stephens County Head Coach Travis Noland said that the Bulldogs were every bit the opponent he was expecting.
“It is good for us to be in a game like this before we get into our region play, where we have to struggle and fight back,” said Noland. “I just wish we could have put them away a couple of times in the second half where we had the opportunity. We will learn from it. It’s always nice to beat the Hart County Bulldogs and it’s a great night to be a Stephens County Indian.”
Hart County quarterback Dakota Mitchell put on an offensive show of his own, amassing more than 300 yards passing and 60 yards rushing. Mitchell accounted for five touchdowns, four passing and one running.
Stephens County dominated early, scoring three times in the first quarter for an early 21-0. In the opening quarter, Mayfield found Tomas Colbert for touchdown passes of 22 and 65 yards. Then, late in the quarter, the Indians scored their third touchdown on a fumble recovery and return by BJ Brown from about 20 yards out.
Hart County grabbed momentum with a 95-yard kick-off return by Sean Harper to make it 21-6 after a blocked extra point.
Stephens County answered back, with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to Colbert making it 28-6 in the second quarter.
However, Mitchell ran 20 yards for a touchdown, then found Tyler Barber for a 43-yard touchdown pass to make the halftime score 28-20 in favor of the Indians.
Touchdown runs of 22 yards and 1 yard by Thornton in the third quarter gave the Indians a 42-20 lead.
Hart County came back again though as Mitchell found Jared Scotland for an 82-yard touchdown pass to make it 42-26 after a missed extra point.
A 3-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter by Thornton gave the Indians a 49-26 lead, but Hart County scored twice late, on touchdown passes from Mitchell to Scotland and Antwan Hazzard to get to the 49-39 final score.
While the Indians remain unbeaten, Hart County remains winless at 0-3.
Stephens County returns home Friday to take on Walnut Grove in the Indians’ Region 8-AAAA opener. Hart County is off next week.
In other area action, Franklin County lost to Lanier 23-0 and Habersham Central lost to Collins Hill 52-0.
Player of the Game: Dionte Mayfield
Lineman of the Game: BJ Brown
Sub of the Game: Desmond Wheeler
Spirit Award: Garrison Savage