SNELLVILLE -- With eight different players rushing for a combined 314 yards in the first half, Grayson raced out to a 38-0 halftime lead and defeated Shiloh 45-27 on Friday night in a Region 8-AAAAAA game.
Grayson dominated both sides of the ball early, scoring touchdowns on its first five possessions and intercepting a pass on Shiloh's first possession to rack up 28 points in the first quarter. The cavalcade of Rams' running backs was led by Wayne Gallman and Aares McCall, who each scored two TDs. Gallman ripped off a 43-yard TD run as part of a 115-yard rushing effort in the first quarter, while McCall scored in each half and ended the night with 78 yards on 10 carries.
The Grayson (4-1, 2-1) defense also stifled Shiloh, picking off quarterback Devante James' first pass of the game and holding the Generals' for minus yards rushing through the first three quarters until its starters gave way to second- and third-team players.
"We really came out in the first half with a lot of passion and intensity, and I was extremely pleased with our effort," Grayson head coach Mickey Conn said. "We wanted to run the football, our offensive line did a great job and I liked the way our defense got the early turnover."
It took the Rams only seven plays to go 80 yards after the game's opening kickoff, with a 40-yard run by Gallman moving the ball to the Shiloh 5. Gallman scored on the next play with less than three minutes gone in the game to give Grayson a 7-0 lead.
Shiloh tried to crack the Grayson defense by leaning on James' arm, and the senior quarterback completed 8 of 18 passes for 82 yards in the first half. But his first toss of the night was picked off by senior linebacker Jay Strickland at the Generals' 30 and returned to the 8. McCall scampered eight yards on the next play for a 14-0 Rams' lead.
Shiloh (3-2, 1-2) got on track briefly on its second possession, moving to midfield on three James' completions before being forced to punt. But Grayson quickly moved 75 yards in nine plays for its next score, with Jordan Germany capping the drive on a 12-yard run. And after a Shiloh punt on its next possession, Grayson needed only two plays to take a 28-0 lead on Gallman's 43-yard TD run.
After two more Grayson TDs and a 31-yard field goal by Alex Louthan extended the lead to 45-0 late in the third quarter, Shiloh's starters rebounded with four late scores. Junior Grant Swinton's electrifying 96-yard TD return put Shiloh on the scoreboard with 2:46 left in the third quarter, the Generals' first TD in nearly seven quarters.
James threw three TD passes to close out the game, including scoring tosses of 19 and 15 yards to sophomore wide receiver Cameron Stewart. James finished with 13 of 22 for 156 yards and now has seven TDs for the season. Stewart had five receptions for 101 yards.