HARLEM — After falling just short in two of its first three games this year, Harlem put together a dominating performance and sent the homecoming crowd out happy Friday, beating Social Circle 35-0.
The Bulldogs (1-3) came in with a 13-game losing streak since winning their final game of 2010, while the Region 8-AA Redskins entered with an eight-game losing streak – a 13-game streak if not counting a 1-0 forfeit win over Athens Christian last year.
“It feels good to win a football game,” Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said.
“Now I can go out in the community on the weekend,” he said jokingly.
The offense pounded the Redskins on the ground, gaining 379 yards. However, it was the defense that turned in something Lewis had never seen in his time at Harlem, never allowing a first down.
The Redskins gained a total of 19 yards.
The Redskins (0-3) recovered a fumble at the Bulldogs’ 30-yard line in Harlem’s opening possession, but the defense allowed just five yards and got the ball back on downs.
That would be the last time the Redskins would come close to crossing into the Bulldogs’ territory.
“The win feels like a long time coming, and we deserve it,” said junior defensive end Tyler Sheppard, who helped lead the defensive charge. “We were executing everything just right and just shutting it down.”
The offense held onto the ball for long chunks of time with sustained scoring drives.
Their first drive was representative of the game. Harlem went 75 yards in nine plays – all runs – taking 3:25 off the clock as sophomore Dontel Frails went in from two yards out.
Frails added three more rushing touchdowns while amassing 151 yards on 24 carries. Austin Burt rushed for 121 yards on 13 carries, and seven other Bulldogs got the call to tote the ball.
“I just followed my blocks and ran hard,” Frails said.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead, then used a nine-play, 75-yard drive on their first possession of the third quarter to go up 28-0.