Despite three regular-season losses – all to select programs – the Grayson Rams have continued to field a rock-solid defense all season. In the first round of the Class 7A playoffs, coach Adam Carter’s team was able to blend a dangerous offense into the equation and the defending state champions loudly announced they weren’t ready to be written off just yet.

Grayson (8-3) rolled to a 48-14 win over East Coweta on Friday at Grayson Community Stadium to easily advance to the second round, where it will play at Denmark, a 23-20 winner over Mountain View.

The Rams defense limited East Coweta to only 23 yards on 12 plays and two first downs in the first half. Grayson produced four sacks and Jaylen Bell came up with an interception in the first half.

“We played our tails off in the first half,” Carter said. “You can’t ask for much more than that from a group of kids.”

That effort despite the Rams missing five starters on defense and mixing and borrowing players from various position groups. Sophomore safety Jason Allen added another pick for Grayson in the second half. Carter was disappointed that the defense gave up two late scores, but had no qualms with the effort.

“There’s just so many kids that are going out there and playing hard for us and fighting,” Carter said. “Now we mess up a ton, but our effort defensively … and then running the ball, I’m really, really pleased with that.”

The running game was outstanding. Joseph Taylor Jr. ran 12 times for 89 yards and the game’s first three touchdowns. JoJo Stone Jr. carried six times for 42 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman Amari Alston got most of the carries in the second half and ran 11 times for 49 yards.

Quarterback Rayne Fry completed 8 of 14 passes for 109 yards and freshman C.J. Franklin was 5-for-7 for 55 yards and one touchdown.

“I’m proud of our offensive staff,” Carter said. “It’s been challenging trying to find the stuff we do well. It’s just week-to-week trying to put stuff together. I’m pumped for them and proud of them. That was huge for us as a team.”

East Coweta (7-4) scored its two touchdowns on passes from Daniel Shoch to Amaryion Moss, one from 16 and the other from 22, in the fourth quarter. But Shoch was under pressure all night, was sacked five times and completed just 8 of 16 passes for 86 yards, with two interceptions.

Grayson scored on a 10-play drive on its first turn, with Taylor running it in from the 3. After an exchange of punts, Grayson scored again on another 3-yard Taylor run.

Bell’s interception set up the next score, a 6-yard run by Taylor and the Rams upped it to 27-0 when Franklin lobbed a 17-yard touchdown to Mason Humphrey.

Grayson’s final score in the half came one play after Taylor’s 44-yard punt return set up first-and-goal. Stone scored on a 1-yard run to make it 34-0 at halftime.

About the Author