GRAYSON -- It's no secret that Grayson likes to run the ball, spreading it among its many backs and receivers.
The Region 8-AAAAA opener with Berkmar was no different for the Rams (4-0, 2-0 Region 8-AAAAA) as they churned 321 yards out on the ground en route to the 56-6 victory as seven different Rams scored touchdowns.
"Every win in this region is big," said Grayson head coach Mickey Conn. "All teams are coached well in Gwinnett County."
Berkmar (1-3, 0-2) started the game with a little momentum, forcing Grayson to a three-and-out on its first series. Then, a 38-yard option-reverse pass from Deion Perry to Dorren Miller put Berkmar at its own 48-yard line. However, three plays later, Perry had a third-down pass intercepted and the Rams were in business.
Rushes of 14 and 11 yards set the Rams up for a score as Callen Hightower caught a screen pass from Nick Schuessler and took it 46 yards for the score. After a false start by Berkmar on the point after, Grayson decided to go for two, converting when Robert Nkemdiche took the ball through the middle, giving the Rams an early 8-0 lead.
The Rams held the Patriots to a three-and-out on their next possession, and thwarted a fake punt attempt by the Patriots to get the ball on their own 27-yard line. Four plays later, Nkemdiche was in the end zone for another Grayson score.
Grayson scored again prior to the end of the first quarter when Devin Gillespie scored from 13 yards out.
Things didn't end there, either. The Rams got three more touchdowns in the second quarter with Wayne Gallman (18 yards), Terrius Watson (2 yards) and Gillespie (1 yard) all hitting paydirt, to give Grayson a 43-0 lead at halftime.
"It's nice to build depth at the running back position," Conn said. "We had some kids who got an opportunity to play, who normally wouldn't."
In the second half, Berkmar had a drive going, but bad luck on an interception quickly turned to good luck as the Patriots were able to strip the ball and regain possession. Six plays later, Perry found Miller again, this time for a 33-yard score. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 43-6. Miller finished the game with five receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown, while Perry completed 11 of 22 passes for 122 yards.
Grayson was able to add touchdowns by Jordan Germany and Brishon Priester for the game's final points, giving the Rams their second victory in the region.
The Rams were led by Watson with 66 yards on the ground while Schuessler was 3 of 4 for 97 yards. In total, Grayson had seven players rush for more than 20 yards.