|Red Devils feel sting of swarming 'Jackets
|South Fulton’s game with Greenfield Friday night was seemingly over before it ever began.
The visiting Yellowjackets used a punishing running attack and a 24-point first quarter to dismantle the Red Devils and send SF to its fifth straight loss with a 54-13 drubbing in Region 7-1A play.
Greenfield (4-2, 3-0), meanwhile, won its fourth straight after opening the season with back-to-back losses and remained tied atop the league standings with eighth-ranked McKenzie. The two 7-1A frontrunners meet Thursday night for sole possession of the region lead.
The Yellowjackets tallied 387 yards of total offense – 281 coming on the ground vs. the Redmen. Running back Brett Perkins piled up 115 yards on 15 carries and scored a couple of touchdowns, and both of quarterback Colin Medling’s passes went for TDs as Greenfield started quickly and was never headed.
South Fulton (1-5, 0-2), meanwhile, was limited to just 189 yards of total offense on the night by a quick-hitting Yellowjacket defense and scored its only points against Greenfield reserves.
SF head coach Gwin Wood felt his team was sluggish and flat before the game started.
“We were flat as a fritter,” admitted Wood. “We definitely were not ready to play football. The first quarter really hurt.”
The Yellowjackets struck quickly to open the game. After a 43-yard kick-off return to begin the contest, Medling found Perkins in stride going down the visiting sideline for a 35-yard touchdown with just 14 seconds having elapsed.
Perkins added the conversion run and the Jackets were on their way.
South Fulton was forced to punt following its first possession and Daniel Rickets returned Armando Gonzalez’s boot 66 yards for another Greenfield score. Medling handled the conversion run and before most of the Red Devil faithful could blink it was 16-0 with the contest not three minutes old.
Rickets had another nice return of 27 yards to set up a nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive that was culminated with Perkins going in from 10 yards out with 10 seconds left in the first frame. Chase McMullen bruised his way across the goal line for the conversion run and the Yellowjackets were up 24-0 as the first period came to a close.
Greenfield linebacker Jonathan Benson recovered a fumble to set up another Yellowjacket score early in the second frame.
After a 19-yard run by Perkins, Medling found Ricketts for a 37-yard touchdown with 11:21 left in the first half. McMullen again added the conversion run, stretching the gap to 32-0.
The Yellowjackets put an exclamation mark on the first half by putting together a 66-yard, 14-play march with Medling scoring from the six with just seven seconds left before halftime. Steven Sawyer’s number was called on the conversion run and Greenfield led 40-0 as both teams headed for the locker room.
South Fulton had a much better start in the second half than they did to begin the game.
After an incomplete pass, Red Devil tailback Jonathan Avent found his way through the Greenfield defense for a 74-yard scoring run to put South Fulton on the board with 10:35 left in the third. Armondo Gonzalez nailed the PAT to make it 40-7.
SF then turned a Greenfield fumble into points just two plays later as Gonzalez found the end zone from five yards out. The ensuing kick was wide left, but South Fulton had cut the Yellowjacket lead to 27 at 40-13.
The two quick scores got the attention of Greenfield first-year head coach Jason Rodehaver, who promptly reinserted his first string on the Yellowjackets’ next possession.
And the visitors picked up right where they left off as McMullen rambled for 33 yards and a TD a little over a minute later. Backup quarterback Ty Smithson took a bootleg in for the two point conversion to make it 48-13.
The Jackets added another score in the fourth quarter as Sawyers went in from 11 yards out.
Even though South Fulton was not able to find much to be positive about afterward, Wood was quick to praise fullback Jared Fowler for his play.
“He put on some good hits tonight against their big front,” added Wood. “He gave us a little room to run at times. We just couldn’t take advantage of those situations.”
South Fulton will battle Union City at War Memorial Stadium this week.