Taj Griffin and Ty Clemons each rushed for more than 100 yards and scored a touchdown Saturday night as McEachern dominated Brookwood for a 31-10 victory in the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome.
It was the kind of start to the season that the Indians needed after going 2-5 in their past seven season openers. McEachern, which entered the game with high hopes as well as the state’s No. 6 ranking, started 0-2 last season before winning eight consecutive games to claim the Region 4-AAAAAA championship.
Griffin and Clemons give the Indians a reason to be optimistic. Griffin, a junior running back, rushed for 156 yards on 10 carries, all but two of which were in the first half. His biggest came on the first play of the second quarter, when he ran 90 yards for a touchdown to give McEachern a 17-3 lead that was never threatened.
Clemons, a senior quarterback who shared time at the position last season with Griffin’s older brother Ty (now at Georgia Tech), ran for 109 yards and threw for 67 more. His 11-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter gave the Indians a 24-3 lead.
McEachern took control early despite drawing more than its share of penalties in a sloppy first half. Brookwood was called for six penalties — not including one that was declined and another that was nullified by a McEachern penalty — for 35 yards. McEachern had 85 yards on nine penalties in the half. One wiped out a 46-yard touchdown pass, and another brought back a 15-yard run by Clemons that would have given the Indians a first-and-goal at the 2-yard line. McEachern salvaged that drive with a 32-yard field goal by David Dominguez for a 10-3 lead with 2:15 remaining in the first quarter.
The teams finished with a combined 23 penalties for 189 yards.
Brookwood took a 3-0 lead on its first possession, driving 47 yards on eight plays for Brandon Morrow’s 36-yard field goal with 8:53 to play in the first quarter. But the Broncos struggled on offense most of the night. They were outgained 390-260 and had only 70 yards rushing on 30 carries.
Brookwood’s touchdown came on a 5-yard pass from Joey McLane to Matthew Price with 3:59 to play in the game. McLane was 11-for-24 passing for 163 yards in his debut as the Broncos’ starter.
McEachern hosts ninth-ranked Lassiter on Friday in the second half of a doubleheader that begins with Hillgrove taking on Walton at 6 p.m. Brookwood plays at Mill Creek on Sept. 6.