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Schuessler, Grayson pull away for win over Shiloh

SNELLVILLE -- On Grayson's first three possessions, a stingy Shiloh defense forced the Rams to punt, turn the ball over on downs and cough up a fumble. Grayson quarterback Nick Schuessler responded with one of his best games of the year, throwing three touchdown passes and running for another, and No. 3 ranked Grayson defeated the Generals 42-14 at Shiloh Community Stadium.

After its slow start, Grayson (5-0, 3-0) got untracked with 21 points in the second period. Schuessler threw scoring passes of 12 yards to Callen Hightower and 26 to Korey Jones. In between, running back Devin Gillespie ran for a 2-yard TD. But Schuessler, who finished with 7 of 9 for 126 yards, made the difference.

"They put a lot of guys in the box, which opened up the passing game," said Grayson head coach Mickey Conn. "Nick has played great all year and I'm proud of how he responded when we really needed him."

Shiloh (1-5, 1-3) gave the Rams all they could handle early in the game. The Generals' Donald Clark returned the game's opening kickoff to the Grayson 46, and on a third-and-14 from the 50, caught a 40-yard pass from quarterback Devante James. But the Generals' drive stalled and a 31-yard field goal attempt was wide.

After Schuessler fumbled on Grayson's third possession, the Generals' Matthew Teuta recovered on the Rams' 17. James completed a pass to Clark at the Grayson 1, but the Rams' Kasey Gaines tackled Clark, jarring the ball loose and Gaines recovered in the end zone. Six plays later, Schuessler connected with Hightower for the Rams' first TD.

After falling behind 21-0 late in the half, Shiloh sophomore Grant Swinton gave the Generals new life with an electrifying 87-yard TD kickoff return, cutting the lead to 21-7 just before halftime.

But Grayson put the game away in the third period with two more TDs. The Rams were forced to punt on their first possession, but quickly got the ball back when Jake Mueller recovered a Clark fumble and returned it to the Generals' 41. Two plays later, Schuessler threw his third TD pass, a 38-yard strike to Hightower.

After a Shiloh punt, Grayson needed only six rushing plays to cover 48 yards and score again. On third-and-6 from the Shiloh 13, Schuessler could not find an open receiver, so he scampered up the middle untouched, making it 35-7.

Grayson's Devin Gillespie led all rushers with 71 yards on eight carries and Terrius Watson added 51 yards on six carries.

Shiloh's James completed 7 of 18 passes for 132 yards, but had two interceptions. Clayton Smith had four receptions for 90 yards.