WINDER - Apalachee is adjusting to life in Class AAAA just fine.
Thanks to a big pass play and absolutely stifling defense, Apalachee (2-0, 2-0 8-AAAA) defeated Cedar Shoals (1-1, 1-1) 7-0 Friday night in Winder. Apalachee head coach Shane Davis was pleased with his team's effort.
"It was unbelievable, I mean the good thing about it is that are kids always play hard," he said. "It's just Week 2, but it was a big game ... I thought that both defenses played extremely well. Once we got the lead it kind of had the feeling, at least on my sideline, that it would take something really big for them to score."
Apalachee scored early on a beautiful pass from quarterback Anthony Seda to receiver John Ansley who ran in for a 48-yard score on a play that got Apalachee more than it was designed for according to Davis.
"We were just trying to get a first down, we were just going to throw it in the air and let John get it but evidently me and the quarterback weren't on the same page, so he actually threw a pretty good fade, hit him in stride and John does what John does."
With the lead in hand, the Wildcat defense dominated the first half of play.
Apalachee's defense was superb, consistently stopping Cedar Shoals for short gains and losses throughout the first half. Cedar Shoals got its second first down of the game with just over a minute left in the first quarter, a quarter in which the Jaguars compiled just 18 yards of total offense.
Cedar Shoals completed one pass in the first half and that was for a negative gain. Cedar Shoals offense was struggled so much that the team had compiled more yards by penalties (45) than total offense (26) in the first half.
Thanks to its dominating defense, Apalachee started its first four possessions in Cedar Shoals territory. Both teams missed field goal attempts in a scoreless second quarter as Apalachee took its 7-0 lead into the half.
The second half saw more of the same as Apalachee's defense stiffened and did not allow Cedar Shoals to cross the 50-yard line at all in the third quarter.
The steady running of running back Jon Lee, who gained 63 yards on 15 carries, and Christian Hoard's 42 yards on 10 carries helped the Wildcats control the tempo for most of the second half.
Cedar Shoals had a chance to tie the game in the final minutes following a 30-yard run by halfback TaBrian Resby which put the Jaguars at Apalachee's 23-yard line.
However Cedar Shoals got closer as Apalachee refused to break, not allowing Cedar Shoals to get inside its 20-yard line.
Apalachee held Cedat Shoals to 52 total yards in the game and the Jaguars had 60 yards in penalties to add insult to injury.
Asked about his team's early success in the new region, Davis kept it short and simple.
"Once the lights come on its just high school football."