MONROE — Leading up to this week’s game, Hebron Christian head coach Kevin Shaffer stressed his team’s need to eliminate errors and turnovers against a tough George Walton Academy squad. His concerns were substantiated almost immediately.
Dimetrios Mason scored three touchdowns and Stanley Williams added two more for George Walton (4-2, 1-1 Region 8-A) as the Bulldogs jumped on the Lions early and cruised to a 50-20 win Friday night in Monroe.
The game could have hardly started worse for Hebron (2-3, 0-2 Region 8-A). On the first snap of the game, Hebron quarterback Connor Holliday’s pass was intercepted by Nick Waters to give George Walton possession at the Lions 23-yard pass. The Bulldogs wasted little time capitalizing as Williams ran 23 yards off the left side for an 8-0 Bulldogs lead only 17 seconds into the game.
“Against a team like this you have to start fast,” Shaffer said. “It’s about momentum. That certainly wasn’t what we wanted on the first play, but they have a good defense and covered it well. Obviously that is not the start you want.”
With George Walton leading 15-0 midway through the first quarter, another Hebron turnover led to a Bulldogs score when Mason took a swing pass from Cale Brown and weaved 64 yards for his first TD and 22-0 George Walton lead.
Staring into the abyss of a 36-0 deficit, Hebron flashed their own big-play ability late in the second quarter. Holliday found Jacob Harper running all alone behind the Bulldogs’ secondary and tossed a 78-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 36-6 at the half.
The young Lions refused to yield and played George Walton evenly the rest of the game.
Hebron’s Andrew Redman plowed 2 yards for a TD midway through the third quarter to make the score 36-12. After George Walton added Mason’s third TD of the game and an interception return for a TD, the Lions continued to scrap.
After Harper scored his second TD on an 8-yard TD pass from Holliday late in the game, Hebron recovered the ensuing on-side kick. But time elapsed with the Lions inside the George Walton 20-yard line.
“We don’t have a whole lot of numbers, we don’t have a whole lot of size, but we’ve got effort,” said Shaffer. “We’ve got want-to and we’ve got attitude. In a game like this you can go one of two ways. You can fight back or you can dive and sink. And I’ve never seen our team do that. You can see in their eyes the resolve and determination”.
Harper led Hebron with 156 yards on six receptions and two TDs, while Redman added 98 yards on 21 carries and a TD for the Lions.
Hebron Christian 0 6 6 8 — 20
George Walton 22 14 14 0 — 50
George Walton: Stanley Wiliams 23 run (Wes Hutter pass from Tucker Shull) 11:43
George Walton: Nick Waters 7 run (Cole Fisher kick) 6:48
George Walton: Dimetrios Mason 64 pass from Cale Brown (Fisher kick) 4:18
George Walton: Wiliams 78 run (Fisher kick) 7:05
George Walton: Mason 71 pass from Brown (Fisher kick) 4:40
Hebron Christian: Jacob Harper 78 pass from Connor Holliday (2-pt failed) 3:46
Hebron Christian: Andrew Redman 2 run (2-pt failed) 7:58
George Walton: Mason 37 run (Fisher kick) 3:56
George Walton: Austin Sims 5 Int return (Fisher kick) 3:15
Hebron Christian: Harper 8 pass from Holliday (Trey Selman pass from Holliday) 0:51