The No. 2-ranked Indians scored on their first five possessions and built a 33-point lead at halftime, en route to a 40-0 victory at Walter Cantrell Stadium.
“When you take a step backwards, then you challenge your team to do better at practice and have a good week and prepare,” McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. “And, if they do it, it’s pretty cool to see the results of that — the fruits of your labor. They responded very well to the challenge.”
Last week, McEachern trailed Campbell 28-21 at halftime, before rallying for a 49-35 victory.
But in Friday’s game against South Cobb (2-4, 2-2 Region 4AAAAAA), Ty Clemons threw two touchdown passes to T.J. Rahming in the first quarter, and Taj Griffin ran for two scores in the period to help McEachern (7-0, 5-0) produce a 27-0 lead that was be more than enough for the Indians to prevail.
“T.J. is a special athlete,” Hockman said. “He hasn’t gotten all the praise yet, but he will because he deserves it. He is a real humble kid who gives praise to his teammates, and we’re excited for him.”
Griffin started the scoring on the third play from scrimmage, with a 59-yard sprint — in which he made two South Cobb defenders collide — to the goal line for a 7-0 lead. After a South Cobb punt, Clemons then capped a 10-play, 60-yard drive with a 28-yard completion to Rahming for a 13-0 advantage.
After another Eagles punt, Clemons closed another 60-yard drive with a 37-yard TD completion to Rahming for a 20-0 score with 2:28 left in the first quarter.
Instead of forcing South Cobb into another punt, Rahmoi Parsons picked off Kylil Carter and returned the ball 62 yards to the 4-yard line, setting up a run to the corner of the end zone by Griffin for a 27-point advantage less than 2 minutes later.
From that point on, the Indians’ defense continued to stifle the Eagles’ offense, and Bailey Hockman added to the bulge with 47-yard touchdown pass to Rahming, and a 56-yard TD completion to Andrew Heyward.
“We had a good game plan,” Kyle Hockman said. “Our defensive coaches did a great job. South Cobb runs a pretty sophisticated offense. To see the kids execute and play with passion and energy, getting some three-and-outs and making stops, was exciting.”