It goes without saying that Gainesville has been dominating this season.
The Red Elephants came into Friday night’s game against East Hall averaging 43 points per game on offense while holding their opponents to just seven.
To say that Gainesville surpassed the standard it has set in Friday’s 63-0 win at East Hall Stadium, however, is an understatement.
The Red Elephants proved that as talented as they are, they are even more efficient.
Senior wide receiver Tai-ler Jones set the tone from the onset, returning the opening kickoff 83 yards to set up an 8-yard run by Teryan Rucker for the first of his two touchdowns.
Three minutes, 29 seconds and two Gainesville fumble recoveries later, Rucker had his second touchdown, Jones had both a receiving and a rushing touchdown and Gainesville had a 28-0 lead.
And that was all before the 4:00 mark of the first quarter.
"We’ve challenged our kids all year to come out hard and play hard and they continue to do that game in and game out," Gainesville coach Bruce Miller said.
"We preach to them all the time that if they end up being as good as they want to be, then they will continue to come out fast and then get some of the younger guys some playing time."
Jones finished with one catch for 17 yards and a touchdown and one rush for 20 yards and a touchdown. Rucker finished as the team’s second-leading rusher with 42 yards and two touchdowns.
Markece Robertson was Gainesville’s leading rusher with 11 carries for 61 yards and two touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Blake Sims once again shined, finishing 10-of-14 passing for 154 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 30 yards.
His second passing touchdown of the game came with three minutes left in the first half. While being tackled in the backfield by a rushing East Hall defense, he hit Jones’ younger brother, Malachi Jones, in the back of the end zone from 34 yards out.
All told, Sims hit five different receivers. Michael Lorentz was his main target with four catches for 52 yards.
As dominating as the Gainesville offense was, however, the defense was more so.
The Red Elephants not only held East Hall to minus 2 yards of total offense, but recovered two fumbles — one by Tevin Yarbrough and one by Thomas Sprague — that resulted in two Gainesville scores.
The defense then finished the job with one minute left in the game and the second team still swarming when sophomore Joseph Haley intercepted a pass at the 50-yard line and returned it for the game’s final score.
"It’s important for these kids to get game experience and they’re getting it," Miller said. "Joseph Haley made a great play and it’s nice to know he’s only a sophomore."
Gainesville’s other score on the night came early in the fourth quarter when freshman running back Justin Cantrell, who finished with 18 yards rushing on four carries, scored on a 1-yard run.