LOGANVILLE - Despite wet and chilly weather, the mood was decidedly upbeat and festive Friday night at Grayson's Britt-Moody Stadium as the Rams clinched their first-ever Region 8-AAAAA title with a convincing 46-0 win over Meadowcreek.
And though it was Senior Night, 255-pound junior fullback Terry Williams led the way.
Playing both ways, Williams bulled his way to a touchdown late in the second quarter after igniting the drive with an interception of a Meadowcreek pass only minutes earlier. The touchdown run was an encore to a Williams' plunge for the two-point conversion late in the first quarter after Grayson quarterback Tyler Horne scored the game's first touchdown on a two-yard keeper.
"This was a big win for us because we wanted to clinch the regional title tonight," Grayson coach Mickey Conn said. "We're excited because we have worked hard and had great leadership from this group of seniors. We are hopeful to accomplish more goals in the playoffs."
Grayson's seniors proved to be quite the supporting cast for Williams as the Rams moved the ball with a ground game that featured the darting quickness of Ean Pemberton and James Earl Jones to complement the power of Williams and Stuart Shaw. The Rams' running game amassed 136 yards in the first half en route to an 18-0 lead. Grayson's ball-control offense also kept talented Meadoowcreek quarterback Sean Frezell and his corp of wide receivers Tydrell Wright and Quenton Brown off the field.
Frezell still managed to complete 19 of 35 attempts during the game for 149 yards to allow the Mustangs to threaten to score on two occasions. The Mustangs' deepest penetration was to Grayson's 1-yard line late in the third quarter but the Rams' defense stiffened to preserve the shutout.
The third quarter proved to be a highlight reel for Grayson's seniors as final-year running backs Jones and Shaw scored on runs of 3 and 21 yards respectively as the Rams posted 21 more points. The third touchdown of the period was another Williams power play of five yards. Conn tried to play many seniors during the second half, and one in particular was lineman Jake Lackey, who saw his first action of the season to block on an extra point.
The final quarter consisted of one long Grayson drive of 99 yards that culminated with a 26-yard dash by Justin Brown and another futile attempt by Meadowcreek to get on the scoreboard.
The first big play of the night occured late in the opening quarter when Meadowcreek, obviously shaken by an earlier shanked punt, decided to go for a first down on a fourth-and-1 from its own 14-yard line. Williams stuffed the Mustangs' Sebastian Wilkes for no gain. Grayson then used three plays to score with Horne taking it in from the two. After an offside penalty against Meadowcreek on the point after, the Rams opted to use Williams for the two-point conversion.
Grayson stretched its lead to 15-0 late in the second quarter when Williams bulled in from the three and Austin Clark kicked the point after with 3:12 left in the first half.
Clark added a 28-yard field goal with only seven ticks on the clock before halftime to account for the 18-0 lead at intermission.
The Rams are idle next week before a final game and then the playoffs.
Grayson 46, Meadowcreek 0
Grayson: Tyler Horne 2 run (Terry Williams run) 1:27
Grayson: Williams 3 run (Austin Clark kick) 3:17
Grayson: Clark 28 FG, :07
Grayson: James Earl Jones 3 run (Clark kick) 7:30
Grayson: Williams 5 run (Clark kick) 6:32
Grayson; Stuart Shaw 21 run (Clark kick) 4:53
Grayson: Justin Brown 26 run (Will Jessup kick) 4:36.