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Spartans 48, Leopards 13
Difference maker: Kwon Williams wasted no time demonstrating West Hall’s speed out of the backfield. He scampered 57 yards for a touchdown on the very first play of the game, en route to a four-touchdown, 181-yard performance on only six carries. By the time the sophomore scored his last touchdown early in the second half, the game was well in favor of the Spartans.
Stat that matters: West Hall’s monster first half gave the Spartans a 355-78 yardage advantage. Banks County had only one first down through two quarters, while West Hall had 10.
Turning point: Williams’ second touchdown of the game, a 32-yard run three minutes into the second quarter, put the Spartans up 21-0 and left no doubt what direction the game was headed. West Hall scored three more touchdowns before halftime.
Who’s next: West Hall visits Fannin County next Friday. Banks County visits Buford.
The West Hall Spartans want the rest of Region 7-AAA to know they are ready to compete for a playoff spot.
Kwon Williams is telling them with his feet.
The sophomore running back rushed for 181 yards and four touchdowns on six carries as the Spartans (3-1, 1-0 Region 7-AAA) cruised to a 48-13 win over Banks County in their region opener on Friday at Spartan Field.
Williams scored on the first play of the game with a 57-yard run, then added two more scores in the second quarter to lead a monster first half for West Hall. By the time he checked out of the game following his final touchdown early in the third quarter, the Spartans were well on their way to their first region win.
“I really have to give it all to the line for blocking hard. We worked hard all week just blocking and getting the schemes right,” Williams said. “It worked out well.
“We’re a new team, but way better than last year. We came to play.”
West Hall unloaded 455 yards of total offense on Banks County (0-4, 0-1), including 355 in the first half. The offense racked up 394 rushing yards on the night, despite no ball carrier getting more than nine touches.
That’s all part of the plan for second-year coach Tony Lotti, whose team has already matched its win total from 2012.
“We’ve been trying to cross-train, so to speak, so we can try to keep legs as fresh as possible,” Lotti said. “Some nights that’s hard to do, but I’m very confident in the guys we put back there to run the football.”
With the jitters of the first region game out of the way, the Spartans can turn their focus to a game they’ve been waiting for quite some time: A rematch with region foe Fannin County, which embarrassed them 31-8 last season on their own homecoming night.
This time around, West Hall heads to Blue Ridge next Friday looking to spoil the Rebels’ homecoming.
“I’m looking forward to how we respond,” Lotti said. “We weren’t ready to play this time last year.”
They certainly look ready now.
After Williams’ early touchdown, Tyquan Statham (four carries, 48 yards) broke open for a 30-yard run to put the Spartans up 14-0 late in the first quarter.
West Hall enjoyed a 27-point second quarter, with Williams scoring on runs of 32 and 60 yards. Antonio Pittman punched in a 5-yard touchdown run midway through the second, and Spartans quarterback Zach English gave his team a 41-0 halftime lead by finding tight end Hunter Atkinson in the end zone for a 12-yard pass.
“I’m proud of the kids for how hard we came out,” Lotti said. “We came out with great effort again. We executed, and now we have to start getting better.”
Williams ran for his final touchdown of the night on a 24-yard run with 2:26 left in the third. West Hall, which pulled its starters in the fourth quarter, had only one more possession the rest of the game.
Banks County used the opportunity to get its only two scores of the night, both through the air. Leopards quarterback Noah Trebec opened the fourth with a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Austin Segars, and backup signal caller Griffin Goodwin heaved the longest play of the game with 17 seconds left, a 71-yard completion to Zezmon Steeple for a touchdown.
Trebec was Banks County’s leading producer, going 10 of 16 passing for 115 yards.