BAXLEY, Ga. - Which of the following statements apply to the Screven County football team?
If you said the last one, you would be right on most occasions, but not on Friday night at Jimmy Swain Stadium.
Screven County didn't fool around with many time-consuming marches in the opening half of a 43-13 victory over Appling County, a win that clinched the Gamecocks' third-straight Region 2-AAA championship.
"We moved the ball well. The backs ran well. The linemen blocked everybody. I played well," said Screven County quarterback Willis McCorvey, whose squad will face Jefferson County at home next Friday in the first round of the state Class AAA playoffs. "We're very dangerous. Whatever they try, we have something that will catch them off guard."
The Gamecocks (10-0), winners of 28-straight, regular-season games dating back to September 2000 went for the throat from the opening whistle. They built a 7-0 lead while cars were still filing into the parking lot and many fans were finding seats.
James Howard sped 71 yards untouched on the game's initial play, the first of 21 plays that notched double-digit yardage that highlighted an incredible 573-yard performance. Tony Evans then nearly hit a few of those cars on the main road outside the stadium with the extra point, giving the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead.
"We knew we could do it," McCorvey said. "We were off last week, and we spent every moment of those two weeks working on Appling County."
McCorvey then unveiled his best Rex Grossman impersonation to start the second quarter. The senior connected with Will Campbell, a Division I prospect at wide receiver, on a 63-yard scoring pass to cap a three-play drive and extend the Gamecocks' lead to 13-0.
It was the first of his four scoring passes on the night, and the start what became a 12-for-22, 272-yard performance. His four scores gave him 11 on the season, breaking a record that stood for nearly 50 years.
"Someone else said that," said McCorvey with a laugh, regarding the comparison to Florida's standout signal caller. "I three touchdowns last year, but I had never had four. But those four touchdowns - they go to the offensive line. They did a great job."
Said backfield mate Michael Scott, who scored three times, "I don't know where that came from. But everyone stepped up tonight, and you saw what happened."
Appling County (7-2-1), which will play Westside-Augusta at home next weekend, answered with two big plays, courtesy of junior Clint Smith. His 36-yard run set up a 17-yard touchdown run, the first points against the Gamecocks' first-string defense this season.
However, Screven County scored again before the Pirates finished celebrating their touchdown. Scott gathered in McCorvey's shovel pass, bounced off Pirates and scored from 34 yards out for a 21-7 lead 8:48 before halftime. McCorvey added his final two scores in the second half.
Screven County's lead stood at 36-7 late in the third quarter before the Pirates finally found the end zone again, on Chris Reed's 29-yard run. But it was way too little, and way too late for the Pirates. The Gamecocks weren't going to lose on this night. And if you ask Appling County coach Bob Griffith, a man who doesn't hand out compliments unless he means them, the Gamecocks may not lose this season.
"LaGrange is a good football team. Cedartown is a good football," said Griffith, referring to the Gamecocks' biggest challengers for the state championship. "But they are the best football team in the state."
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