A strong second half from the Lanier Longhorns sends the Stephens County Indians home with a loss in Region 8-AAAA football.
Stephens County led 14-10 at the half, but Lanier scored 21 second-half points to pull away and beat the Indians 31-14 Friday night in Sugar Hill.
Indians’ Head Coach Travis Noland said that his team battled against a strong Lanier squad, but just came up short.
“Our kids played hard,” said Noland. “We played well the first half. We just wore down in the second half. They are just so big and they kept mashing on us and mashing on us and that big back got going. We did a lot of good things. I thought our kids fought hard. This is a very, very talented football team that we just lost to and we will go back to work and try to find a way to win next week and get in the playoffs.”
After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter on a Grey Lee Williams punt return touchdown, Stephens County took a 14-7 lead on first-half touchdown runs of 3 yards and 1 yard from Jai Brown.
Late in the first half, Ryan Edwards hit a 26-yard field goal for Lanier to cut the Indian lead to 14-10 at the half.
In the second half, Lanier began to wear the Indians down with the strong running of Tario Fuller, who gave Lanier the lead for good on a two-yard touchdown run just past the midway point of the third quarter.
Fuller, who finished with over 200 yards rushing, added a 41-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give Lanier a 24-14 lead.
Lanier’s final touchdown came on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Canyon Cook to Tim Leazer.
The win moves Lanier to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in Region 8-AAAA.
Stephens County falls to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the region with the loss.
The Indians will take another long road trip on Friday night, traveling to Covington to face Eastside.
In other action Friday in Region 8-AAAA, Eastside beat Walnut Grove 42-14, Chestatee beat Lumpkin County 42-14, and Monroe Area beat Madison County 68-14.
Elsewhere in the area, Habersham Central lost to Duluth 27-14, Elbert County edged Hart County 23-21, and Morgan County beat Franklin County 49-18.
Arby’s Player of the Game: Devin Burns
Hart EMC Lineman of the Game: Devan Ferreira
Mill Creek Veterinary Clinic Sub of the Game: Gary Walker
First Baptist Church Spirit Award: Brandon Hitt/A.J. Howard