The Warner Robins Demons used the ground game to set the tone against rival Northside in a 39-0 blowout.
A season ago, the Demons were one of the most electric teams on offense but did it primarily in the air. Against the Eagles Friday night, Warner Robins got its running backs going early and never let off the gas.
On the first two drives of the game, running back Jahlen Rutherford had already racked up over 60 yards on the ground. Rutherford said this was a big step for him after struggling early in the season.
“I haven’t really been doing anything this whole year. It was great to start good,” Rutherford said. “I feel good about this game. We are going to keep going.”
Ahmad Walker was the big power back of the night, helping the Demons score twice to put them up 27-0 at half. Warner Robins head coach Marquis Westbrook said that the offensive line helped set that tone for the game.
“I feel like our guys came out and they were fired up,” Westbrook said. “We just have tremendous potential from here on out with that offensive line that we have.”
The Warner Robins defense took center stage in the second half, holding off Northside and preventing the Eagles from scoring any points.
This is the first time that either team has gone scoreless in this rivalry series since 2008. The Demons were shutout 14-0 that season.
The Demons’ ability to run the football allowed them to wear down the Eagles defense. It opened up space for quarterback Jalen Addie to find his rhythm in the second half, throwing his second touchdown of the night and setting up another one with a long pass.
The big lead also allowed Warner Robins to get Addie more throwing repetitions later in the game. Addie is a first-year starter at the quarterback position, following in the footsteps of former Demons quarterback Dylan Fromm, one of the top passers in the state one year ago.
While Addie has showcased his arm strength and raw athletic ability, he is still getting used to being the starting quarterback. The additional repetitions could prove to be big down the stretch when he will be counted on to throw more often.
“I opened up the season pretty nervous,” Addie said. “Now I am starting to stand in the pocket a little more… I have to understand this quarterback (position) and I am going to get it.”
Warner Robins has now won three straight against the Eagles in one of the biggest rivalries Middle Georgia. It’s the first win in the series, though, for Westbrook as head coach.
“This rivalry is one of the best in the state,” Westbrook said. “Our guys were up for it. They played their hearts out tonight.”
Next up for the Demons is the Houston County Bears. It should provide another big matchup for the Demons as the Bears have jumped out to a surprising 4-1 start. The run defense has been one of the keys for them.
“We have got to look at them on film and see what we can do against them,” Westbrook said. “It’s just like any other week, we just got to game plan.”