SUWANEE - When Bill Ballard took over the Peachtree Ridge program he knew he was getting an exceptional group of seniors. But on Friday in the season opener, Ballard also found a talented junior.
Running back Ronnie Smith scored three touchdowns to lead defending co-state champion Peachtree Ridge to a 28-0 victory over Shiloh.
"I never thought I would score three times in a game," Smith said. "I didn't get a lot of playing time last year, but I'm expecting more games like tonight."
Smith scored on runs of 1, 3 and 11 yards and finished with 55 yards rushing. He also started at defensive tackle and had a blocked punt.
"He's a good running back and a very strong kid," Ballard said. "We've really got three guys that can run the ball, so we're trying to give them all some carries. But Ronnie had a good game and he got some great blocks from his offensive line."
It was Ballard's first win as Peachtree Ridge's head coach after coaching the five previous seasons at Tucker. The win improves Peachtree Ridge's unbeaten streak to nine games.
Peachtree Ridge starting running back Brandon Davis finished with 100 yards rushing and one touchdown as the Lions had 330 rushing yards.
"It was a team effort tonight," Davis said. "(Smith) came on and gave us what we needed."
Quarterback Asher Clark was the third part of the Lions' rushing attack on Friday. Clark, who transferred from Duluth, rushed for 108 yards and was 6 of 11 passing for 48 yards and one interception.
After a one-hour lightning delay early in the first quarter, Shiloh came out and was unable to move the ball. Smith ran into Shiloh's punter Ernst Brun and Peachtree Ridge took over possession at the 45.
The Lions went five plays highlighted by a 17-yard run by Clark and a 20-yard run by Davis before Smith broke through for a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Generals' defense contained Peachtree Ridge for the next two possessions, but then the Lions mounted another scoring drive.
Clark led the drive with a 24-yard run and an 11-yard pass to Antonio Hayes to the 3-yard line. Smith plunged through the middle for a 3-yard touchdown run and after Greg Johnson's PAT, Peachtree Ridge led 14-0 with 5:28 left in the half.
Peachtree Ridge took its first possession of the second half and churned out a 16-play, 75-yard drive that ate up 7:11 off the clock. The Lions fought through two penalties on the drive - they finished with nine flags for 95 yards - before Davis broke through for a 5-yard TD run.
"We made some errors tonight we shouldn't have," Ballard said. "We've got a lot of work to do and we've got to clean things up. We're going to get better at what we do."
The Lions needed just seven plays on their next drive as Smith finished the series with an 11-yard TD run.
The Shiloh offense struggled all night and did not get a first down until the fourth quarter when the Lions were flagged for roughing the punter. The only first down gained by the offense was on a six-yard run by Chaz Johnson, who led the Generals in rushing with 27 yards
PEACHTREE RIDGE 28
Peachtree Ridge: Ronnie Smith 1 yard run (Greg Johnson kick) 4:51
Peachtree Ridge: Ronnie Smith 3 yard run (Greg Johnson kick) 5:28
Peachtree Ridge: Brandon Davis 5 yard run (Greg Johnson kick) 4:49
Peachtree Ridge: Ronnie Smith 11 yard run (Greg Johnson kick) 1:55
RUSHING - Shiloh: Chaz Johnson 11-27; Mark Wright 5-11; Ira Johnson 6-7;
Reuben Lacy 3-7; Jace McKie 3-6; Robert Hodge 1-0. Peachtree Ridge:
Asher Clark 11-108; Brandon Davis 14-100; Ronnie Smith 7-55; Antonio
Hayes 7-31; Nick Gubitogo 3-23; Ethan Rohrbaugh 2-7; Brad Roby 1-4;
Chris Sawdey 1-2; Nick Lombardo 1-0.
PASSING - Shiloh: Mark Wright 1-9-0, 1; Ira Johnson 1-5-0, 2. Peachtree
Ridge: Asher Clark 5-10-1, 43; Nick Lombardo 1-1-0, 5.
RECEIVING - Shiloh: Jace McKie 2-3. Peachtree Ridge: Brandon Davis 2-11;
Cameron Demps 1-12; Antonio Hayes 1-11; Mitchell Williford 1-9; Ethan