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Grayson defensive linemen make rivalry game fun

SNELLVILLE - Quanterius Smith and Rammell Lewis made sure to have fun Friday.

The pair of Grayson defensive linemen made their presence felt early, with tackle after tackle, in the Rivalries of Gwinnett All-Star game for Team Hunter.

Through much of the first quarter the Grayson pair led the charge of Team Hunter's defense, holding Team Johnson to minus-6 yards until South's Rico Brazil broke off a 43-yard scoring run with 2:08 left in the quarter.

For the game, the duo combined for 10 tackles, two sacks, a pair of QB pressures and a pressured punt.

"It was fun. It was real fun," said Smith, who ended the game with a pair of sacks, two tackles and two quarterback pressures that forced incomplete passes. "I came in and gave it my all and it was fun. It was easy (to get fired up) everybody was talking junk, but it was friendly talking junk. It was motivating."

Lewis ended the game with seven tackles.

In the end, the Grayson duo's Team Hunter lost 21-6, but that first touchdown was the only touchdown given up by the defense. The other two scores came on a punt return and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown.

"I was very excited. This is the first time this has happened in Gwinnett County and I felt like even if we didn't win we still could come out here and have fun," Lewis said. "This is my last high school game so I felt like I don't have anything to lose so come out here and have a good time and play around."

While Lewis and Smith were playing around, they had plenty of fun shutting down Team Johnson's offense.

"I feel like me and Q. (Smith) have really grown attached to each other," Lewis said. "I feel like when he is on the field his side is protected and I feel like when I am on the field that my side is protected. If we both do our job nobody can do anything against us."

And with the exception of that one Brazil run, no one really did. Team Johnson only managed 102 yards of total offense, with 65 of it coming on the ground.

"They are awesome. Good kids. They work hard," said Team Hunter defensive assistant and Grayson head coach Mickey Conn. "I am real excited how they were able to come out here and showcase their talents. Just to play one more game.

"They helped (Grayson's) defense to four shutouts and they played great tonight, too. We had a good time."

After the game, as players from both teams met on the field, hugging and laughing, both Smith and Lewis said Friday's game was about having fun. It didn't hurt that they both put on a show of their abilities.

"I had a great time," Lewis said. "I wasn't thinking about the actual game, I was trying to go out there and have fun and play with the team."

Said Smith: "It was fun having the two of us out there."

But it went beyond just those two putting on a show. For every player, it was a chance to see and experience football talent they don't always see during the season. For the AAAAA teams to see the AA talent. For Region 8-AAAAA players to meet Region 7-AAAAA talent.

"I got to make a lot of new friends," Lewis said. "I got to see a lot of people that I have heard are really good."

And while they were at it, Lewis and Smith showed they belonged among them.