Shemar Givens leads the team into battle.
(Staff Photos by Christopher Dunn)
The Fayette County Tigers surely surely wish they could bottle up this performance. The Tigers blasted the Lithia Springs Lions in an exhibition game Friday night.
The rain that has pounded the state all summer long had left Fayette County's football field a muddy bog in some spots. The rest were plenty slick from the mist that fell all game. It made for treacherous footing and slippery footballs that slowed down the Lions, but the Tigers couldn't be stopped by any conditions.
The Tigers had little trouble in the first half. When it was first team against first team, Fayette County was spot on. Their bruising backs gouged the defense for big run after big run. On the other side of the ball, the Tigers opportunistic defense forced three first half turnovers.
Fayette County started with the ball first. They utilized their big back, Montrell Kelley, to pound into the heart of the defense and open up holes around the end for Vincent Bey and Keenan Morris. The Tigers first drive appeared to stall around midfield, but they had a trick up their sleeve. Kelley took the direct snap and ran thirty yards deep into Lion territory.
The drive would be capped off when quarterback Davieon Nash plunged into the end zone, a place he would spend plenty of time on the night, from one yard out. The extra point would make it 7-0 Fayette County midway through the first quarter.
Little time would pass before the Tigers struck again and it was largely Lithia Springs's own doing. After receiving the kickoff, two big penalties had the Lions staring down a second and 31 from their own six yard line. On the next play they coughed the ball up where Fayette's Robert Easterwood pounced on it.
Two plays later and just over a minute after the last score, Davieon Nash scampered up the middle for a six yard touchdown, his second of the game. They would not convert the extra point, making it 13-0.
Lithia Springs's next drive would be snuffed out with a big sack by Sean Ancrum on quarterback Tikai Petty.
Montrell Kelley took his turn finding paydirt next. On a third and short, Kelley took the handoff and bounced off tackle, racing upfield for a 39 yard touchdown run. Again, the extra point was unsuccessful for a 19-0 lead.
After another stalled Lion drive, the Tigers lined up with time winding down in the first quarter. They wouldn't need much. On the first play of the series, Nash dropped back and lofted a gorgeous pass up the left sideline, hitting Anthony Gray perfectly in stride. Gray raced untouched to the house for a 61 yard touchdown. The extra point would make it 26-0 with fourteen seconds left in the first quarter.
On the next drive, Petty got out of the pocket, but was leveled by Fayette's Vincent Bey, jarring the ball loose. Shemar Givens fell on the fumble.
Lithia Springs would hold the Tigers off the board on their next drive and then respond with a three and out of their own. The next time through the Tigers struck yet again.
The big play was a Nash to Syngin Stellato 39 yard pass. Nash lofted a ball over the defense that Stellato hauled in before getting pulled down at the one yard line. From there, Nash plunged in again for his third touchdown of the first half. The extra point made it 33-0.
Lithia Springs's next drive ended in another turnover. After a Christian Vickery sack backed the Lions up, a high floating pass would be picked off by Jollyce Myrick.
Stalled drives by both offenses would send it into halftime a 33-0 Tiger lead.
Fayette County will look to build on the momentum of a dominant performance when they open the season at home against Woodward Academy on Friday, August 30 at 7:30 p.m.