SANDERSVILLE, Ga. — Once again, Butler’s undefeated run ended humbly against Washington County.
For the second year in a row, the Golden Hawks met a 5-0 Bulldogs squad and emerged victorious, using their rushing attack to win 49-12 Friday night at Washington County.
Unlike last year’s game, Washington County gave itself a cushion early, scoring the first three touchdowns as it totaled 428 offensive yards.
“We wanted to go out and play well,” Golden Hawks coach Joel Ingram said. “We felt we hadn’t played good for four quarters all year.”
Washington County (4-2) rushed for 326 yards, with Savon Washington leading all players with his 136 yards. Washington had no trouble taking it inside or creating missed tackles in space, needing only one juke move to get away from one would-be tackler on a 34-yard run in the fourth.
The Golden Hawks’ passing attack was also dangerous at times, mostly on short passes. On one completion, quarterback William Walker looked doomed with defenders near him, but he hit an open Washington, who made the catch and burst up the field for 25 yards. Washington scored later on the drive to make it 21-0 Washington County in the second.
Butler (5-1) had a few chances to get back into the game, but it stopped itself on a few of those opportunities.
The Bulldogs – just like Washington County – lost two fumbles and tossed an interception in the first half, surrendering possession one or two plays after they had just forced a turnover.
Christan Garnett had 49 offensive yards in the first half and was the main Butler threat with his 56 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards.
But the turnovers and a failed fourth-down conversion attempt kept the Bulldogs three scores down at the half one year after battling to a 14-14 tie to the same point a year ago.
Though Butler scored in a flash on the first offensive play of the second half on a Clayton Johnson strike to receiver Mel Jones for 81 yards, the Bulldogs committed six turnovers.
Even when Butler got help on a kick return score from Yashem Coleman, the game was well in hand.
“We didn’t play well offensively,” Butler coach Ashley Harden said. “The defense played well, but you can’t stay on the field all night.”