It was painfully obvious, even to the Josey High School statistician seated way up in the White Road Stadium press box.
"You've got to stop that boy," she shouted repeatedly every time Westside running back Duane Gregg carried the ball. "That boy is tough. He's gonna get recruited to college on this game alone."
That expert assessment came straight from the mouth one of Josey's biggest fans. But Jasmine Chavous, the daughter of Eagles coach and former NFL lineman Barney Chavous, is also one of the team's harshest critics.
And she was right on the money.
The Eagles couldn't stop Gregg, who pounded full steam ahead all night long to lead Westside to a 35-13 victory in the Region 3-AAA opener for both teams Friday night.
Entering the game second in the area in rushing among Georgia running backs, Gregg turned in his biggest night of his career with 281 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries.
"Any running back on this team could have done that tonight," said Gregg, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior who has 628 yards rushing in four games. "My offensive line was unbelievable tonight, especially David Barnes, and our power back, Willie Elam, made some huge holes for me."
The victory was the first of the season for Westside (1-3, 1-0) and gave the Patriots a tie for the top spot in the region.
"We had to win this one after starting 0-3," Westside coach Gerald Barnes said. "Duane is a special kid and had a big night, but it was really a strong team effort.
For Josey (0-4, 0-1), the loss was its 12th straight dating to a Week 2 win over Hephzibah last season.
The Eagles did move the ball offensively, led by senior Travis Shubert's 137 yards on 16 carries. But the defense couldn't contain Gregg and Westside's power-I offense, which totaled 351 yards.
"Everybody wants instant coffee," said Chavous, in his second season at Josey. "But this coffee isn't that instant kind. We're still picking the beans and we have to grind them out. It's a process. We're not going to get better overnight. But I'm proud of the effort of my kids. Their trying to improve, and we're slowly starting to make progress."
WESTSIDE 35, JOSEY 13
First Downs 1810
Passing Yards 0130
First quarter W-Duane Gregg 4 run (Obi Egekeze kick), 8:24.
J-Najee Tolbert 2 pass from Rashad Roberts (Daniel Harmon kick), 0:00.
Second quarter W-Jason Williams 2 run (Egekeze kick), 5:22.
W-Gregg 53 run (15 kick), 2:09.
Third quarter W-Gregg 2 run (Egekeze kick), 1:06.
J-Travis Shubert 72 run (pass failed), :56.
Fourth quarter W-Willie Elam 1 run (Egekeze kick), 5:26.
RUSHING-Westside: Duane Gregg 34-281, Justin Washington 1-5, Willie Elam 6-14, Sergio Campbell 6-39, Jason Williams 6-12. . Josey: Travis Shubert 16-137, Brad Johnson 1-(-1), Anthony Berrien 3-7, Darryl Kirkland 1-1, Rashad Roberts 3-13, Jermal Harris 3-12.
PASSING-Westside: Jason Williams 0-2-0-0. Josey: Roberts 7-18-81-1, Johnson 4-7-49-0.
RECEIVING-Westside: None. Josey: Najee Tolbert 5-45, Samuel Williams 1-28, Fabian Beard 2-19, Jeff Jenkins 1-11, Jamie Jackson 2-27.
Reach Rob Mueller at (706) 823-3425.
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