LOGANVILLE -- When Grayson took the opening kickoff and went 59 yards in five plays to take a 7-0 lead over Lowndes, it seemed unlikely the game would come down to the Rams' defense having to rise up in the end.
Then again, it is usually that defensive unit that does something special every game.
After regaining the lead 13-10 midway through the second quarter, Wayne Gallman stepped up big and forced Lowndes quarterback Lance Jarriel to fumble and Jack Banda pounced on the loose ball at the Vikings' 13.
That's where the Grayson offense took just over and used just two plays to score and take a 19-10 lead into the locker room at the half.
Not only did that play make it a two-score game, but it also seemed to bring some confidence back to the Rams after some costly turnovers early on.
"We had some things happen early in the game that hurt us," said Grayson head coach Mickey Conn. "We gave Lowndes some opportunities and they're a good team, so they took advantage of our mistakes. But I know we stayed after it and I liked the way we created some turnovers, too. That got us rolling again."
Thanks to two-way players like Gallman, who came up big on defense and also rushed the ball 10 times for 61 yards.
But for guys like Gallman, that's what it is all about -- being on the field.
"I don't get tired and I like being out there a lot," said the Rams' junior. "I like to play offense the most, but I also want to help us win and if that means playing defense, then I'm out there. I wanted to make up for my own fumble that gave (Lowndes) that field goal.
"And then when when it came down to that last drive in the fourth quarter, we were ready. Our coaches told us just to go make plays and we did."
Usually a team that runs the ball 80 percent of the time, Lowndes (8-4) threw the ball 25 times and ran it 28.
But that didn't bother Gallman and his teammates, who were ready for the challenge.
"We knew they would try to throw the ball, because we don't give up much on the ground," Gallman said of a Rams' defense that has yet to allow any team to rush for 100 yards. "So we had to be ready for the pass and get after the quarterback."
After Lowndes took over at its own 34 with 2:38 to go trailing by eight, the Vikings went to the airways on every down and eventually moved to the Rams' 30 with 1:20 remaining.
But a pair of sacks by Robert Nkemdiche and Jake Mueller chased Lowndes back to the Grayson 43 to set up a 4th-and-23.
That's when Jarriel's final pass went incomplete as time expired to send Grayson to a 12th consecutive win.
Thanks to Gallman and his Grayson defensive teammates that were ram tough once again.