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Defense leads Gamecocks past East Laurens

            Claiming their second consecutive 3AA win, the Screven County Gamecocks took the opening kickoff and drove 74 yards in 11 plays using up better than half of the first quarter clock to score. From that point, a Homecoming-inspired defense took over to lead the Roosters to a 14-0 win over visiting East Laurens Friday night.

            Holding their guests to a mere 97 total yards and not allowing a penetration inside Gamecock territory until the final stanza, the  defense clad in Red on Red uniforms recorded its second consecutive shutout in improving to 2-3 on the season, but 2-1 in 3AA. Senior linebackers Rodderick Grace (9 solos, 4 assists) and Duane Heindel (3 solos, 10 assists) seemed to be around the ball every time a Falcon back touched it.

            Nine times the visitors were tackled for lost yardage, including three sacks as the Falcons were able to get off but three passes.  On 43 rushes East Laurens averaged less than two yard per carry.

            After their long opening drive, culminated by a nine yard Dylan Davis run at the 5:38 mark of the quarter, the Gamecock offense went into a shell. Turning the ball over only once on the night, SCHS still managed to stay out of the end zone the remainder of the half despite controlling the ball for better than 15 minutes of the 24. In the second quarter the team turned the ball over on downs at the East Laurens three.

            The Gamecocks probably put the game out of reach late in the third quarter when Grace took a short Aikeem Mingle pass up the middle and turned it into a 57 yard touchdown pass on a one-play drive.  The drive followed a partially blocked punt by Davas Reason. Davis went untouched off tackle for the two point conversion.

            East Laurens took better than six minutes of the final stanza to drive from their own 41 to the Gamecock 14 before turning the ball over on downs with 2:27 left. On their final possession, SCHS saw what started as an 85 yard scoring run by Davis turned into a 35 yard run by a needless block in the back penalty.

            In addition to his outstanding defensive effort, Grace also contributed 26 yards rushing to go with 91 receiving.  Davis added 84 yards on just seven carries. Bradley Malloy was in on five tackles, including three sacks and James Cooper was in on nine tackles and had a fumble recovery.

            Screven County heads to the Shamrock Bowl next Friday for a meeting with the Dublin Irish.