Douglas County 37, Stockbridge 13

High school football
High school football

Credit: For the AJC

Credit: For the AJC

The roar appears to be back in the Douglas County Tigers.

Head coach Johnny White’s effort to mold the Tiger program into a consistent winner took a slight step back last season, his fourth leading the program, as Douglas County went 5-5 and missed the state playoffs after two consecutive years of post-season play.

But the Tigers (2-0) have begun the 2020 season by blasting their first two opponents, both of which made the playoffs in 2019. Last week it was a 47-7 shellacking of county rival Lithia Springs. Friday night, Stockbridge was the victim, as Douglas County, ranked No. 10 in Class 6A, romped to a 37-13 victory.

The 24-point margin doesn’t tell the tale of how much Douglas County defense dominated their fellow Tigers. Stockbridge managed just four first downs and got their points off of a 10-yard fumble return by DB Dominic Mays and a 95-yard kickoff return by Bryce Bonner.

The return, which Bonner took right down the middle of the field, came after Douglas County took a 16-6 lead early in the third quarter when Samson Israel blocked a punt at the Stockbridge 15-yard line and Jaylen Love recovered it in the end zone.

But Douglas County essentially put the game away on its ensuing possession when on the second play of the drive, Justin Franklin took a quick screen from senior QB Jimmy Inman, raced around the left corner and sprinted 67 yards down the near sideline for a touchdown that pushed the Douglas County lead to 23-13 after Austin Lewis, who hit a 35-yard field goal in the first half, nailed the extra point kick.

Douglas County added another touchdown in the third quarter, when Kobe Harris capped a 10-play, 79-yard drive with a 21-yard run, and closed the scoring with a little less than three minutes left in the game on a 4-yard run by Zavion Terrell.

With so many weapons (seven different players scored touchdowns in last week’s win), dividing touches could be a problem. But it’s not at the west metro Atlanta program, according to White.

“All we preach is family,” White said. “In a family, you forget about me and it’s all about we.”

That philosophy is evident in the fact that Douglas County plays two senior quarterbacks – Inman and Andreus Lewis.

“We go with whoever has the hot hand,” White said. “Both of them are playing well and practicing well, and that’s the key. Wednesday will let you know who’s going to play and right now both of them are practicing and playing well.”

White said the key to the program’s new success has been keeping Douglas County players in Douglas County, and holding them accountable.

“You have to be disciplined, that’s the number one thing, and you have to hold them accountable,” White said. “They’ve done a great job of buying into what we’ve been telling them. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I like where we are right now.”

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