Offensive execution was emphasized all week at Lumpkin County.
Ian McIntosh scored three touchdowns to fuel Lumpkin's 34-13 win over host Johnson on Friday at Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium.
After being held to just a field goal in last week's 10-3 loss to Monroe Area, the Indians (3-1) move the ball through the air and on the ground against the Knights (0-4).
McIntosh scored on runs of 44 and 11 and added a 50-yard touchdown reception right before halftime to put the Indians up 24-6 at intermission. He finished with 135 total yards, before limping off the field in the fourth quarter with what coach Tommy Jones said was "just a cramp."
"We talked about executing on offense all week," said Jones. "And for the most part, we did a better job. But we still have a ways to go."
Lumpkin quarterback Taylor Guthrie completed 7-of-10 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown. Fullback Michael Flannigan led an Indian ground attack that accounted for 206 yards.
Johnson drops to 0-4 and needs to get healthy, coach Paul Friel said. The Knights were missing three starters, but hung tough on homecoming night
Sophomore running back Cedric Harris had a big game and set up Johnson's first score with a 39-yard run to the Indians' one early in the second quarter. Three plays later, Cody Lewallen made a juggling catch on fourth-and-goal to put the Knights on the board, trailing 10-6.
Lumpkin answered back with a quick five-play, 53-yard scoring drive. Guthrie found McIntosh for a 24-yard reception on third-and-14. The next play, McIntosh went around left end and outraced the defense to the pylon to put the Indians up 17-6 midway through the second quarter.
The Knights used another big run from Harris to drive inside Lumpkin territory with less than a minute to play before half. But the drive stalled, and Friel elected to go for it on fourth-and-7. Quarterback Luke Gilleland was stopped short of the first down, giving the ball back to Lumpkin at its own 40 with 19 seconds left in the half.
The Indians would capitalize with a 50-yard touchdown bomb from Guthrie to McIntosh that deflated the crowd with just five seconds left in the half
Harris scored his second touchdown of the night halfway through the fourth quarter to make it 27-13. But Lumpkin recovered the ensuing onside kick and put the game away with Trevor Eudy's 11-yard touchdown run with six minutes to play.
Harris finished with 177 yards on 18 carries. The Knights had 195 yards rushing and 204 total yards.
Johnson quarterback Taylor Gillenland completed just one pass - the 9-yard touchdown to Lewallen - and was intercepted by Logan Moye late in the fourth quarter.
"We're just a young, inexperienced football team that just can't seem to stop from hurting ourselves," said Friel. "If we can cut back on the mistakes, we can be a decent football team."
Things don't get any easier for Johnson, which opens 8B-AAA subregion play at Gainesville next week.
Lumpkin County begins 8A-AAA subregion play at rival White County on Friday.