Difference maker: Ian McIntosh scored on a 74-yard catch and run and also had a 44-yard run for Lumpkin County.
Stat that matters: The Eagles have turned the ball over five times, three resulting in touchdowns for Lumpkin County. Riverside has turned the ball over 10 times in its first two games.
Turning point: Lee Cagle jarred the ball loose from Riverside quarterback Collin Pettell, and B.J. Dorsey scooped up the fumble and raced 31 yards for a touchdown that made it 29-0 late in the first quarter.
Who's next: Riverside is at Banks County on Sept 2. Lumpkin County is host to Union County on Sept. 2.
DAHLONEGA — Lumpkin County did what good teams do against overmatched opponents in Friday's season opener.
The Indians popped Riverside Military Academy early with a flurry of big plays and cruised to a 50-0 win at J.P. King Memorial Stadium.
Lumpkin County (1-0) dominated in all three phases, blocking a punt and scoring three defensive touchdowns en route to building a 43-0 halftime lead. It was 29-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Jonathan Gilreath and Freddie Beamon returned interceptions for touchdowns, and B.J. Dorsey scooped up
a fumble and raced 31 yards for a score.
Lee Cagle gets the assist on Dorsey's touchdown. The senior lineman jarred the ball loose from Riverside quarterback Collin Pettell with a big hit, setting up Dorsey for the scoop and score.
Beamon, a junior defensive back, picked off two passes on the night.
Trevor Eudy, Mitchell Stephens and Daniel McCrary had two short touchdown runs, and Ian McIntosh caught a swing pass from Logan Moye and raced 74 yards for a touchdown.
Moye completed both of his pass attempts and rushed for 53 yards.
McIntosh, the Indians' top returning playmaker, also had a dazzling touchdown reception called back by a holding penalty.
"We've got a couple big playmakers back from last year," said sixth-year Lumpkin County head coach Tommy Jones. "Our goal, like everyone in the state, is to make the playoffs. Only time will tell if we'll develop into a good enough football team to do that."
The Indians, who haven't been to the state playoffs since 2003, certainly looked capable Friday, albeit against a Class A opponent.
The 50 points is the most scored by Lumpkin County since 2003. The Indians have outscored Riverside 85-0 the past two meetings.
Riverside (0-2) never responded from the early barrage of points. The Eagles turned the ball over five times and now have 10 turnovers two games into the season. They finished with just 26 yards of offense.
Pettell threw three interceptions in the first half, two returned for scores, before being removed with an injury to his left non-throwing hand. The sophomore's first four interceptions of the season all were returned for touchdowns.
"We've got to lead the nation in interceptions returned for touchdowns," lamented Riverside second-year coach Chris Cotter. "But hopefully our kids will realize that we don't have any more AAA opponents on our Class A schedule."
Sophomore linebacker John-Mark MacFarlane had a big night for the Eagles defensively, recording a team-high 11 tackles and recovering a fumble.