Chip Dykes pulled off his best Deon Grant impersonation on Friday night.
The Josey senior intercepted two passes and rushed for a touchdown in the first half as the Eagles waxed rival Laney 40-0 in front of a standing-room- only crowd at ARC stadium.
"This is my senior year. I told my team not to let me down," Dykes said. "We came out thinking not to let them score."
With the victory, Josey (6-1, 5-1 region) moves into a tie for first place in Region 3-AAA with Greenbrier and Dublin.
"We ran the football well and settled down," Josey coach Tommy Macon said. "I told the guys all week that our secondary would have to play well."
The Eagles made a statement by scoring five plays into the game. Quarterback Marvin Stone scored on a 12-yard option keeper to put the Eagles up 6-0. After that, Dykes took over.
With the Laney offense sputtering midway through the first quarter, Dykes intercepted a high, wobbly Kirt Stephens pass. On the Wildcats' next possession, Dykes made his second interception on the Josey 30 and rumbled down the left sideline to the Laney 20.
Late in the second quarter, Dykes took over at the tailback position scoring on a 5-yard run off left tackle with 3:53 remaining in the first half to extend the lead to 12-0. Nick Kelley caught a pass from Stone for the two-point conversion.
Laney's best scoring opportunity came with under two minutes remaining in the first half. At fourth and 4 from the Josey 28, Stephens lobbed a pass to an open receiver inside the 10-yard line only to have Dykes break up the play.
The Josey special teams broke the game open in the third quarter. On Laney's opening possession, punter Javarass Walker decided to fake a punt on fourth and 10 from the Laney 15. He rushed all of two yards and Josey started its drive on the 17. Two plays later, George Powell scored on a 6-yard run.
On their next possession, the Wildcats faced a fourth and 30 from the 5-yard line. Walker had his punt blocked by Inderal Middleton and Emiliano Stokes recovered it in the end zone, pushing the lead to 27-0.
With the loss, Laney (0-6, 0-5) saw its losing streak extended to 23 games.
Grant, starting defensive back for Tennessee and Josey alum, spoke to the team last week before the Dublin game.
"He told them that he was proud of them and to keep God in front of them and they would be OK," Macon said.
Chris Gay covers sports for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3425.
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