Lumpkin County Coach Tommy Jones demands “excellence in all things” and he certainly got that from a hard-nosed defense that inspired the Indians to a 21-7 win over East Hall in a 7-AAA matchup.
“We have a really young team,” said Jones, whose team returns only seven starters from last year’s squad, “but we hung in there and got the win. I’m proud of these kids.”
Lumpkin (2-1) was so dominant on defense that it held East Hall to only five first downs and 122 yards of total offense.
“I thought we played as well as we could,” East Hall coach Bryan Gray said. “They have an excellent group of linebackers who made it tough on us all night.”
The Indians took control of the game on the strength of junior quarterback Taylor Guthrie and a balanced running attack. Lance Chuvala, a senior running back, scored on an 8-yard run with 6:50 remaining in the first quarter. The kick failed.
Guthrie raced 3 yards on a keeper a little more than four minutes later and, after B. J. Dorsey ran for the two-point conversion, Lumpkin had a 14-0 lead.
East Hall (0-3) narrowed the gap with a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Desmon Gardner on fourth down with 9:08 left in the first half. The score was set up by Judd Robinson’s interception at the Lumpkin County 29-yard line. Chrisel Flores’ kick made it 14-7.
Lumpkin passed for only 43 yards, relying a running game that saw running back Lance Chuvala and Guthrie gain 54 yards each.
Gardner connected with six different receives to gain 93 yards through the air. The Vikings were hurt by three sacks, two lost fumbles and some key penalties.
East Hall running back Corey Richardson rushed for 30 yards on seven carries, including a nifty 21-yard scamper.
“We have Gilmer at home next week,” said coach Gray “and I’m confident we’ll bounce back from this loss.”
Lumpkin County is off next week before travel to Gilmer on Sept. 25.