The last time a team from Augusta visited Jones County, it took about half of the first quarter before the Greyhounds’ offense got a real chance to work up a sweat.
Friday night, it was a different opponent, but a similar start and familiar ending.
Two bad punt snaps early gave Jones County a short field to work with, and the Greyhounds converted both times en route to a 38-7 win over Lakeside-Evans in a GHSA Region 2-AAAAA game.
The seventh-ranked Greyhounds improved to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in region play while the Panthers fell to 2-4 and 2-3.
Jones County has now outscored its four Augusta-area region opponents 194-27.
Three weeks earlier, Greenbrier gave up early points on a fumble and blocked punt, keeping the Jones County offense off the field. Of course, the Greyhounds rolled to a 70-7 win.
“You’re up 14-0,” Jones County head coach Justin Rogers said of Friday night’s start, “and you ain’t drove the ball more than 20 yards.”
The offense got a little more work this time as Jones County scored three first-quarter touchdowns.
The second half went quickly, thanks to the mercy-rule running clock after the Greyhounds took a 31-0 halftime lead.
Chandler Ramage ran 16 times for 106 yards and two scores for Jones County, while quarterback Bradley Hunnicutt completed 9-of-15 for 141 yards and a touchdown.
But Rogers would have liked a certain level of sharpness.
“Consistency offensively,” he said. “We relied too much on big plays and not being able to just methodically be consistent and move the ball, just march it down the field.
“I thought we relied too much on too many big plays. I like explosive plays as much as the next guy, but there were a couple of times I wanted to prove a point that we could be methodical. And we would get a penalty here or missed assignment there that would put us behind the sticks.”
The defense held Lakeside to 71 yards on the ground and 30 through the air.
“The defense played really good,” Rogers said. “We’re proud of our defense. The defense had a ton of three-and-outs.”
Jones County joins its region mates with a week off. The Greyhounds host third-ranked and undefeated Houston County on Oct. 16.