“For the first time this year we had a good first quarter,” Allatoona coach Gary Varner said. “We played good from the beginning of the game and that was a big focus this week.”
On the Buccaneers’ opening possession of the game, Josh Bettistea capped off a seven-play, 60-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead.
Two plays later, Allatoona’s Tyler Adams intercepted a pass at the Lions’ 22-yard line. Five plays later Bettistea reached the end zone again. This time on a 24-yard run and the eighth-ranked Buccaneers led 14-0 with 4:21 remaining in the first period.
After a punt by Lithia Springs (0-3, 0-3), it took Allatoona just two plays to score again. A 43-yard touchdown pass from Conor Larson to D.J. Ezell made it a 21-0 game heading to the second quarter.
Lithia Springs best scoring opportunity came when it drove to the Buccaneers’ 13-yard line and attempted a 30-yard field goal, but Allatoona blocked the kick.
On the next snap, Brandon Rainey threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Russell Halimon and the Bucs advantage was 28-0.
Scott Roembke’s second interception of the night gave Allatoona the ball at the Lions’ 43-yard line, and again it took only two plays for the Buccaneers to score. Rainey’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Kameron Bowen put Allatoona on top 35-0.
Early in the third quarter, Allatoona picked up right where it left off, moving 75 yards on two plays. Halimon’s 68-yard touchdown run gave the Buccaneers a 42-0 lead.
Raleigh Webb ended Lithia Springs’ ensuing drive with an interception, but the Buccaneers wound up punting for the first time during the contest.
A fumble recovery by Allatoona’s Faizon Harris set up the Bucs final touchdown, a 2-yard run by Bryant Dallas.
Allatoona’s Chris Roney put a capper on the night when he recovered another Lions fumble on the game’s final play.
“We got to play a lot of kids tonight who got good quality reps,” Varner said. “It was a good day and we started fast for the first time.”
Halimon rushed six times for 97 yards and caught the one long touchdown pass. Bettistea finished with nine carries for 86 yards.
Larson was 5-of-7 for 69 yards, while Rainey finished 3-for-3 for 83 yards.