Hebron defense strong in win over Cross Keys

DACULA -- After starting the season 1-5, Hebron still came into its first football homecoming game with high hopes and a good chance of finishing its season at .500.

The Lions took their first steps toward that goal with a 35-7 win over Cross Keys and will try to complete the task next week against Towns County.

The Lions (4-5) were not able to match their offensive output from last week when they rushed for over 400 yards but big plays and a stout defensive effort were the formula instead.

"Over the last few weeks the defense has been playing great football." said Hebron head coach Sal Battaglia. "That is great because it has put our offense in good position and we've been able to take advantage of that. We didn't do that early in the year."

After a slow start that included a fumble on their first possession the Lions were able to strike late in the first quarter when Lew Stephens hit Tyler Matthews in stride for a 69-yard touchdown. With a little more than five minutes to play in the half Stephens connected with Matthew Glisson for a 36-yard score to give the Lions a two-score lead. Stephens added a rushing TD from two yards out just before halftime to cap off a 67-yard 4-play drive.

Defensively the Lions only allowed 137 total yards of offense for the Indians forcing them to turn the ball over on downs four times and forcing a fumble. They also had a TD when Charlie Redovian picked off a pass and returned it 35 yards for a score to give Hebron a 28-7 lead. Tyler Smith also added an 11-yard TD run in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to put the finishing touches on the victory. Stephens ended the night going 4 of 11 for 176 yards passing and Smith led them in rushing with 49 yards on seven carries.