Stephens County uses a strong second half to win its Region 8-AAAA football opener over Walnut Grove.
Leading 7-6 at halftime, the Indians scored three third-quarter touchdowns to pull away and defeat Walnut Grove 41-20.
Indians’ Head Coach Travis Noland said he is pleased with the way the team came out after halftime.
“Mason (Long) got it started with a great kickoff return there in the second half and we scored a defensive touchdown,” said Noland. “That took a little pressure off our offense and we got some things done.”
Noland said the team was late to the stadium after the team’s bus broke down.
“It was just one of those nights,” said Noland. “We bounced back the second half.”
Jai Brown scored two rushing touchdowns to lead the Indian offense.
In addition to Brown, Indian quarterback Zeb Noland accounted for two touchdowns, running one in from two yards out and also throwing an 8-yard touchdown pass to Tristen Alexander.
Stephens County also got touchdowns from Kenneth Brock, who recovered a Walnut Grove fumble and returned it for a touchdown, and A.J. Howard, who scored a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Mason Long also contributed a 90-yard kickoff return for the Indians at the start of the second half to help set up an Indian score.
Quarterback Tucker Laughlin led Walnut Grove offensively, running for two touchdowns and also throwing a touchdown pass late to D.J. Rivers.
With the win, Stephens County moves to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in Region 8-AAAA. Meanwhile, Walnut Grove falls to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the region.
This coming week, Stephens County is back on the road for another region game against Chestatee.
Looking at other Region 8-AAAA action from Friday night, Monroe Area beat Lumpkin County 49-3, Chestatee beat Eastside 33-23, and Lanier beat Madison County 34-8.
Meanwhile, elsewhere around the area, Habersham Central lost to Mountain View 27-0.
Arby’s Player of the Game: Deion Crawford
Hart EMC Lineman of the Game: Kenneth Brock
Mill Creek Veterinary Clinic Sub of the Game: A. J. Howard
First Baptist Church Spirit Award: Dylan Huff