WARNER ROBINS -- The game was supposed to showcase contrasting teams.
It turns out Houston County-Warner Robins was an up-front, line-of-scrimmage game that offensive linemen and running backs love.
In this case, the Bears’ offensive line and running backs went to bed very happy.
Houston County controlled things up front and showed that it is more than a pass-happy team, running past the Demons 34-14 on Friday night before an overflow crowd at McConnell-Talbert Stadium.
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“Everybody was talking about how great their defensive line was,” Houston County guard Tucker Coody said. “We haven’t really had a chance to prove ourselves, and we just thought this was the time to come out and show everybody that we are the best O-line in central Georgia.
“We played great. Our pass protection was good; as always, run-blocking was there.”
Houston County flipped the script and ran 27 more plays than Warner Robins. The Bears rushed 46 times, the same number of snaps for the Demons.
Chris Brinson carried 30 times for 157 yards, and Jaeven West added 44 yards on 14 carries. The Demons countered with 32 rushes, Javian Bradford-Jackson managing 64 yards on 18 carries.
“I thought we dominated the line of scrimmage,” Houston County head coach Von Lassiter said. “It’s really special to be able to move the ball up and down the field like that.”
The Demons dug an early hole, fumbling after getting down to the 15 in two plays. The Bears went 86 yards in 10 plays, West going in from 10 yards out.
Stefan Hill picked off Ivan Corbin on the Demons’ first snap, and Jake Fromm connected with Payton Johnson from 11 yards out, and the Bears had a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Warner Robins cut the lead in half late in the first quarter after a defensive stand, Corbin connecting with an open Connor Johnston for a 31-yard score.
Houston County, thanks to a 15-yard Demons penalty on the first play and a Fromm 12-yard scramble on fourth-and-9 -- with another 15-yard penalty attached -- went up two scores on a short Fromm-to-Johnson pass.
Bradford-Jackson converted a fourth-and-3 to keep the Demons going, and Corbin was on the money to Marquez Callaway for a 21-yard touchdown with 17.7 seconds left in the half to make it a one-touchdown game.
Connor Shaw’s interception to end the half gave the Demons momentum, and they opened the third quarter with a sack of Fromm.
But the Bears didn’t flinch, marching the distance to get a 4-yard score from Brinson for a 27-14 lead four minutes into the third.
And the Demons just couldn’t get anything going, losing 4 yards on a fourth-and-10 at the end of the third quarter and getting only three offensive plays off in the fourth as the Bears’ defense was stingy against run-oriented Warner Robins.
“Bottom line, I figured whoever won the battle up front’s going to win the game, and they definitely won the battle up front,” Warner Robins head coach Bryan Way said. “We still had our chances. It’s 21-14 at the half. Come out and let them drive however far they drove.
“It all starts up front. We gotta do a better job of blocking. If you’re getting beat up front, there’s not a whole lot much you can do, and we got beat up front.”