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Spartans 49, Indians 21
Difference maker: Kwon Williams’ 202 yards on seven carries and three touchdowns led the Spartans’ offense.
Stat that matters: Despite being behind in the first down department (15-6) the Spartans managed over 500 total yards of offense.
Turning point: Tyquan Statham’s 63-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half propelled the Spartans to a 28-0 lead and that was enough cushion to sustain an Indians’ comeback.
Who’s next: West Hall host Banks County. Lumpkin County host Monroe Area.
DAHLONEGA — In his team’s last non-region game, West Hall coach Tony Lotti wanted to see how his players would respond to a close loss last week.
In Friday night’s performance, he got his answer as the Spartans (2-1) defeated Lumpkin County 49-21.
The Spartans’ offense was led by sophomore running backs, Kwon Williams and Tyquan Statham. Williams rushed for a game-high 202 yards, including two touchdown runs of 75 and 73 yards for touchdowns, on seven carries. He scored three touchdowns.
Statham added 113 yards on the ground on just four carries and one touchdown.
Senior quarterback Zach English went 6-for-9 passing for 83 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He added 66 yards on eight carries and one touchdown.
Tight end Hunter Atkinson snagged three catches for 46 yards and two touchdowns.
The Spartans’ defense also played a key role, forcing four rumbles, recovering three of them to give their offense more possessions
“I felt we came out offensively and defensively pretty focused,” Lotti said. “I told the kids before the game ‘this is a big test, and every week I’m looking for something different.’ I wanted to see how we could respond after what was a very emotional week for us last week and the heartbreak that happened at the end (of the game).
“So, I told them ‘we’re going to find out a lot about each other tonight,’ and I’m very proud of how we came out here tonight.”
English started the Spartans’ scoring attack with 2:24 left in the first quarter when he connected with Atkinson on a 10-yard touchdown strike. The play capped an 11-play drive that started on the Spartans’ own 14-yard line.
Then the Spartans’ defense recovered their first fumble of the game, giving English a short field. He took advantage, scoring on an 18-yard run to give the Spartans a 14-0 lead after the first.
In the second quarter, Williams scored on a 73-yard run, giving the Spartans a 21-0 lead at the half.
The third quarter featured a scoring-barrage by both teams. Statham scored on a 63-yard run on the first play of the second half.
The Indians responded putting up their first points of the game when quarterback Daniel McCrary scored on an 11-yard run.
However, English took the Spartans back down field, connecting with Atkinson again, this time on a 23-yard touchdown strike.
After forcing the Indians’ offense to a turnover on downs, Williams scored on a 75-yard run to stretch the Spartans’ lead 42-7.
Less than a minute later, Lumpkin running back Timmy Summersett broke loose and bolted in a 54-yard touchdown run to end the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Williams scored his third touchdown of the game, but from the shorter distance of 16 yards.
Lumpkin running back Gunner Wood ran in a 26-yard score as well in the closing minutes.
Wood rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown.
McCrary went 8-for-21 passing for 77 yards. He added 55 yards rushing on eight carries and one touchdown.
“We’re a young football team. We’re real inexperienced,” Lumpkin County coach Brad Waggoner said. “That’s not an excuse. West Hall has got a good team. We knew going in we couldn’t give up big plays. We gave up big plays. The only thing we can do is to keep working. Keep getting better.”
Next week, West Hall opens up region play at home against Banks County, while Lumpkin host Monroe Area.