Photo: Karl L. Moore Lanier's Taylor Grant (10) finds an opening to throw in front of St. Francis' Garrett Bode (42) during Friday night's game at Lanier.
Photo: Karl L. Moore Lanier's Joraan Brannen (32) gets a lift from team mate Anthony Mauricio (57) to celebrate his touchdown during Friday night's game against St. Francis.
Photo: Karl L. Moore Lanier's Onyx Berrios (3) dives through the tackle of St. Francis' defenders Paul Mayfield (9) and Grayson McClain (20) for the touchdown during Friday night's game at Lanier.
Photo: Karl L. Moore Lanier's Bernard Nuckles (9) pushes by the block of St. Francis' Knox Edenfield (17) on his way to a touchdown during Friday night's game at Lanier.
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SUGAR HILL -- When Lanier's Zac Winzurk walked on to the Sugar Hill campus in the fall of 2010, he knew he wanted to play football and he knew he had a chance to do something special.
For Winzurk and the rest of the Longhorn seniors, it was mission accomplished as they closed out their second season of football with a 41-0 victory over St. Francis of Alpharetta Friday night.
"We built our legacy as the foundation for Lanier football," Winzurk said. "We turn it over to the great underclassmen and they know what we expect of them and what their coaches expect of them."
Lanier moves into region play next year after an impressive season that included a 4-1 varsity record under head coach Billy Wells.
The Longhorns scored 17 seconds into the game when Donte Borders swept around the right end for a 41-yard touchdown run. Gemosah Vang converted the extra point to lift Lanier, on senior night, to a 7-0 lead.
The Longhorn defense punished the St. Francis option offense, stuffing the fullback and not allowing the quarterback and running back to get to the edge. Lanier had several chances to add to its lead but lost its chances due to youthful penatlies and mistakes. It finally padded its lead with 30 seconds left in the opening quarter when Bernard Nuckles scored from 16 yards. The extra point put the home team up 14-0.
Lanier took advantage of a St. Francis mistake to bust the game open in the second quarter. The Knights' punter, Paul Mayfield, touched his knee down to the ground while fielding a low snap on his own 12. On the very next play, Onyx Berrios scored on a great individual effort.
Berrios carried to the left, but with no running lanes, he reversed his field back to the right and cut up the seam to score. The extra point gave Lanier a 21-0 lead.
Lanier held on defense and needed only four plays to score from the St. Francis 38 after the punt. The key play was a 31-yard hitch and go completion from Taylor Grant to Jordan Humphrey. Humphrey, who also sang a country version of the National Anthem before the game, had two catches on the night, both for 31 yards. After the completion, Borders scored from the 4-yard line and the conversion gave Lanier a 28-0 advantage with 1:29 left.
The misfortune continued for the Knights as they fumbled on the kickoff return and three plays later Jordan Brannen scored from the one. The extra point gave the home team a comfortable 35-0 cushion during the rainy halftime festivities.
The second half was the Lanier of the future, as the seniors turned it over to the future of the progam. Tario Fuller put up the only score in the second half as he took a hand off and raced 85 yards with just over seven minutes left in the game.
"This has been one of the best experiences of my life," Winzurk said. "We became a team and I have all these brothers. We knew there was opportunity and it's a great day to be a Longhorn."