HARLEM — The Grovetown Warriors got their season off to a fast start.
Playing at Harlem on Friday night, the Warriors jumped out to a 16-0 halftime lead and never let up, winning 37-0.
Grovetown’s new up-tempo offense accounted for 430 yards and 28 points and their defense caused a safety in the first half. Defensive back Ben Jean ran an interception back 85 yards for a third-quarter touchdown.
The Bulldogs fell to 0-2 with the loss, playing a Region 2-AAAAA school for the second consecutive week.
"We did the best thing we could to run our offense," said Warriors' coach Rodney Holder. "We've got a lot to work on, no doubt. It's early in the year for everybody."
After taking a 2-0 lead on a safety late in the first quarter, the Warriors went 47 yards in seven plays with Eugene Govan punching it in from two yards out with 11:31 left in the half.
After forcing the Bulldogs to punt, the Warriors showed their quick-strike capability. Junior quarterback Skyler Vance hit senior Alex Taul for a 32-yard gain across the middle, then the pair connected for a 48-yard touchdown on the next play.
Vance finished the game 9-14 for 159 yards with the touchdown and an interception while Taul would finish with four catches for 112 yards. Vance also rushed eight times for 102 yards, mainly on keepers up the middle.
Aside from his interception return for a touchdown, Jean showed his versatility taking the ball out of the shotgun and rushing eight times for 67 yards, including a 14-yarder with 11:51 left in the game as the Warriors increased the lead to 30-0.
The Bulldogs struggled with their passing attack and Chris Brown led the offense with 56 yards on 17 carries.
"Turnovers hurt us and inexperience hurt us and we got tired and stopped tackling like we're supposed to," said Bulldogs' coach Jimmie Lewis. "We've got a young bunch and the more they learn, the better they'll get."