HOMER — Running is not the only offense Banks County plays with — it is just one of the options they have.
The Leopards defeated the Union County Panthers on Friday night, 27-0.
The Leopards (4-1, 1-0 8A-AA) outgained the Panthers (1-4, 0-1 8A-AA) by 174 yards. The defense allowed only five Panther first downs and recovered a fumble.
"All year we have played well, but haven't had a complete game," Banks County coach Blair Armstrong said. " We had the best week of practice since I've been here this week."
The Leopards were led by senior quarterback Harrison Dale, who passed for 98 yards and three touchdowns on the night.
In the first quarter, Dale hit senior wide receiver Justin Fincannon for a 10-yard touchdown with 5:20 left in the quarter.
Dale tossed his second touchdown in the second quarter, this one to junior wide receiver Marquaze Maddox on a 35-yard catch.
"Marquaze can stretch the field. Fincannon and Ewing can catch the ball, too," Armstrong said.
Leopards senior running back Dylan Lackey ran for a 9-yard touchdown between Dale's two touchdown throws, making the score at halftime 21-0.
Dale made only one mistake on the night. On the first play of the third quarter, he was picked off by Panther defensive back Zach Williams, the Leopards' only turnover.
After a scoreless third quarter, it took only 11 seconds in the fourth quarter for Dale to throw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Lackey. The touchdown gave Dale his third touchdown of the game and ended any hope of a Panther comeback.
"We have a really good quarterback and really good wide receivers," Armstrong said. "We need to use the talent. Had moments where it was there; now we are starting to believe in it.
For the Panthers, two sophomores led the offense. Quarterback T Bentley had 63 yards passing and 10 yards rushing. Running back Ian Petkevich rushed five times for 35 yards. It wasn't enough.
"We got our butts handed to us," Union County coach Brian Allison said. "We got beat physically, we got beat as coaches, we got beat in every aspect of the game tonight."
Next week, Union County heads to East Hall to play the Vikings who beat Rabun County on Friday night. Banks County goes to Dawson County who beat Fannin County.