WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Houston County exploded for three touchdowns in a five-minute stretch of the second quarter then pressed on to its first win in Region 2-AAAAA, 45-14, over Evans on Saturday.
Ronnie Graham rushed for 95 yards and scored both of Evans’ touchdowns, on an 8-yard run in the first quarter and a 6-yard run in the third quarter.
Quarterbacks Chandler Shoemaker and Maitlin Marshall combined on 8 of 21 pass attempts for 85 yards for Evans (4-4, 1-4 Region 2-AAAAA).
Samsun West and Kenny Gant each topped 100 yards rushing for the Bears. West had three touchdown runs while Gant added two. Houston County had 300 yards as a team.
Houston County spotted the visitors seven points. On their second possession, the Knights covered 70 yards in 12 plays and took a 7-0 lead after Graham’s first touchdown run and the PAT.
The drive was helped by a pair of Houston County penalties that resulted in Evans first downs.
The Bears took control of the game in the second quarter. With good field position at the Evans 44 after forcing a punt, Houston County scored on a six-play drive. West muscled in from the 2. Will Cowart’s PAT tied the game at 7-7.
Just 90 seconds later, senior Myles White returned a punt 64 yards for a touchdown as Houston County went on top for good. White fielded the punt on the dead run, moving past the first wave of Evans defenders with his first few steps. After that, White beat punter Jacob Rizner to the end zone.
A short time later, Gant ripped off a 44-yard touchdown run around the left side to give the Bears a 21-7 lead at halftime.
The Houston County defense played its best game against a region opponent. The Bears yielded 241 yards of total offense to Evans, but a chunk of that came in the fourth quarter after the outcome had been decided. Houston County forced two turnovers.
Houston County was content to run the ball most of the game. Quarterback Taylor Boyett attempted only eight passes, less than half his average. Boyett did connect with Josh Flowers on a 23-yard completion that set up Gant’s second touchdown run.
Houston County (3-5, 1-4) can work itself into a tie for one of the final region playoff berths if it wins its final two games.
Evans also would have three region wins if it can win its final two games.