POWDER SPRINGS — In front of a lively homecoming crowd, McEachern earned its third consecutive win in a 51-20 victory over Tucker on Friday night at Walter Cantrell Stadium.
“Our guys came out,” McEachern coach Franklin Stephens said. “I thought, offensively tonight, we played extremely well. We talked to our guys about finishing games, scoring in the second half, getting up and down the field, and we came out and did that tonight.”
Stephens earned his first win against the same Tucker program he guided from 2007-11, guiding the Tigers to a pair of state championships in 2008 and ‘11.
The key to McEachern’s offensive success came in its dominant running game, which saw seven different players combine for 363 yards on the ground. The majority of the rushing production came from running back Jaylon Brown, who tallied 206 yards on 25 attempts and found the end zone three times.
Jayreon Campbell and RJ Echols also scored on the ground, and quarterback Jaydon Kinney had the longest run of the night after taking a zone-read right down the middle for a 38-yard touchdown.
Stephens credited the offensive line for the huge success of the running game.
“We think that our offensive line is pretty good,” he said. “We have some size up there, and those guys are strong. They have attitudes and they work hard.”
Tucker (2-2) also brought a strong running game to the contest. Jordan McCoy ran for 185 yards on 27 attempts and scored a rushing and a receiving touchdown.
McCoy gave McEachern (3-2) some problems in the first half, as it seemed the Tigers were able to simply run the ball at will. However, the Indians’ defense found its footing. and they began to pull away.
The defense made big plays when it needed to. With Tucker backed up to its own 7-yard line on third-and-23, Bryce Givens sacked Tigers quarterback Connor Whaley for a safety to put McEachern up by 17 in the second quarter.
Special teams also went McEachern’s way on the night.
Kicker Lucas Wynn made all five of his extra-point attempts, as well as two field goals from more than 45 yards out. On the other side of the ball, McEachern blocked two of Tucker’s kicks. The first came on a 39-yard field goal try. and the second came on the extra-point attempt following Tucker’s final touchdown of the night.
Even McEachern’s lone punt on the night went its way, as it was muffed by Tucker and recovered by the Indians, allowing them to keep the ball and run down nearly all of the remaining game clock.
McEachern will hit the road next week as it travels into south Georgia to face Valdosta and close the non-region portion of its schedule.