Macon County rode freshman running back Jared Daniels and a dominating defensive performance to turn a scoreless first half into a 10-0 victory over Northeast on Friday night at Thompson Stadium.
Daniels gained 94 of his 112 yards in the second half, including a 7-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to break open the scoreless game and give the Bulldogs all the margin they needed.
(Daniels) did an outstanding job, Macon County head coach Larry Harold said. Im proud of our offensive line, every last one of them. Weve only got one senior up there.
Sophomore Kyron Smith intercepted two Davion Anderson passes on the evening with his second coming in the end zone with just two minutes remaining in the contest to cement the win.
The Bulldogs (5-2, 3-1 GHSA Region 4-AA) gained just 70 yards in the first half, and after a three-and-out to open the second half, they appeared to be in punting position again after just three plays on their second drive. But junior linebacker Roquan Smith took the short punt snap from his own 27-yard line and powered 6 yards for the fourth-down conversion. Macon County methodically marched the remaining 67 yards in 11 more plays, converting three third downs along the way before Daniels found the end zone.
(The fake punt) was a risky call -- we were deep in our own territory, Harold said. We felt like our defense would hold up even if we didnt get it, and Roquan Smith made a big play.
After holding on fourth down, the Bulldogs moved 41 yards in 12 plays on their next drive with David Saldanas 37-yard field goal pushing the lead to 10-0 with just 4:37 remaining.
The Bulldogs rushed 31 times in the second half for 107 yards, holding the ball for 17 minutes during the final two quarters and exhausting the Northeast defense.
We knew that Northeast was going to be hard to run the ball against, Harold said. We told our offensive line to keep pushing, and we felt like we could wear them down with our tempo, and I think we did.
Macon County kept the Raiders offense off balance all night, limiting Northeast to 164 total yards and harassing Anderson on almost all of his 22 pass attempts.
We knew their defense was going to be fast and hard to block, Northeast head coach Bruce Mullen said. We just couldnt get anything established.