MARIETTA — Behind a punishing running attack, Pebblebrook earned its first victory of the season, shutting out Osborne 53-0 on Friday night at Cardinal Field.
The victory gave the Falcons (1-1) their 15th straight victory over the Cardinals (0-3), in a streak that dates back to 1995. They also rebounded emphatically following a narrow 10-7 loss to South Cobb two weeks ago.
Aquantis Sanja sent the tone for the game in the first half, rushing for 66 yards and scoring on all three of his carries as Pebblebrook scored five touchdowns and took a 35-0 lead into halftime.
Pebblebrook rushed for 185 of its 324 yards in the first half as Sanja, Tyler Thomas and Jaqavious Jones spearheaded a strong, physical rushing attack against a smaller, undermanned Osborne team.
“We ran the ball really well,” Pebblebrook coach Kevin Saunders said. “We’ve got a bunch of kids that can run the football. Our offensive line is a real strong part of our football team. They’re really big and athletic. Only one senior on that bunch. It’s a pretty good offensive line. We played a bunch of young kids (Friday), got a lot of reps so it was a good night.”
The 53-point margin of victory was the second-largest win in Pebblebrook’s 52-year history.
After an interception by Brandon Preston, Pebblebrook quickly drove 43 yards in five plays on its opening possession and took an early 7-0 lead on Sanja’s 10-yard run. Sanja also scored on the next two possessions on runs of 36 and 20 yards to increase the lead to 20-0
Eric Jones’ 19-yard catch from Jones, Thomas’ 58-yard run and Uziel Moreno’s 48-yard field goal represented the rest of the first-half scoring for the Falcons.
“We worked out some (of the kinks),” Saunders said. “We’ve still got some things to work on. We’re young in some spots, old in some spots. We still got to jell. It’s a long season. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so we just have to keep getting better and get ready for region play.”
It only got worse in the second half for Osborne. Boyd’s 92-yard run on the first play of the second half, Thomas’ 20-yard run — his second touchdown — and Ketavious Formean’s 5-yard run closed the scoring.
The long run was Boyd’s only carry of the game, yet it was enough to lead his team in rushing. Thomas rushed for 72 yards, and Jaqavious Jones rushed for 64.
Despite a 0-3 start, coach R.C. Helton said he is still striving for Osborne to improve every facet of the program, despite suffering with lack of depth.
“Wins and losses, in a situation like this, we look at wins when we see growth, and it’s not measured necessarily on the scoreboard as much as it is for each individual player coming together as a team showing improvement this week,” Helton said.