MARIETTA — Pope dominated Osborne 54-0 in their Region 6AAAAAA matchup at the Pope Multi-Sport Complex on Friday.
Running back Joe Stellmach ran for 115 yards and four touchdowns, and didn’t waste any time putting the Greyhounds (4-3, 4-1) on the scoreboard. Pope took a 7-0 lead on his 22-yard touchdown on the third play of the game.
Stellmach scored his second touchdown of the night with a 44-yard run on the Greyhounds following possession
“We go as Joe Stellmach goes,” Pope coach Tab Griffin said. “He’s our workforce and we’re gonna give him the football.”
Running back Jasper Merriman followed with a 64-yard touchdown run to put the Greyhounds up 21-0.
Pope’s defense got into the act when Piers Cameron returned an interception for a 34-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter. The defense struck again at the beginning of the second quarter on another interception return for a touchdown. This one from Noah Wetzel from 48 yards.
Defensive back Phillip Sims Jr. grabbed another Osborne turnover when he picked up a fumble on the 10-yard line.
“Our defense was huge,” Griffin said. “We had back-to-back turnovers and touchdowns. I think that was the dagger that lit the victory. We’re a good defensive team. We’re fast, we’re athletic, and we’re gonna have to do the same thing next week.”
Stellmach scored two more times before the half on runs of 23 and 47 yards making the lead 47-0.
Junior Joel Brock was able to score the final touchdown of the night for Pope with an 11-yard run in the third quarter.
“At halftime, we talked about how we needed to finish the game,” Griffin said. “We wanted to get better in the second half and we definitely did.”
The win sets up next week’s game against Allatoona. A Pope win and a Kell loss to Lassiter would secure the Greyhounds the No. 2 seed in the region.
Osborne (1-8, 0-7) will close the season at Kennesaw Mountain.