Stephenson 15, Mays 7

The Stephenson Jaguars kept the Mays Raiders at arm’s length to win 15-7 in a Region 6-4A contest on Friday at Buck Godfrey Stadium in Decatur.

The No. 3-ranked Jaguars move to 4-0, 3-0 in league play while the Raiders fall to 3-5, 1-3.

The game was originally scheduled to be played at Hallford Stadium in Clarkston, but that stadium was without power after Tropical Storm Zeta left more than 1,000,000 Georgia Power customers without electricity.

The Jaguars were led by 127 rushing yards on 21 carries from senior running back Terrance Guffie, but scored their touchdowns on a 39-yard pass from Sedrick Hill to Rahim Diarrassouba and a 55-yard interception return by Dorian Helm. Both touchdowns came in the first quarter.

Emmanual Rios drilled a 29-yard field goal as the first half expired to give the Jaguars a 15-0 lead.

The Jaguars defense, which had not allowed a touchdown heading into Friday, would have likely kept that streak going if not for a series of blunders toward the end of the game. On fourth-and-16 from their own 41, the Jaguars were attempting a punt when a bad snap resulted in a 25-yard loss and turnover-on-downs and the Raiders getting the ball on the Stephenson 16. Then, with the Raiders facing third-and-7 from the Stephenson 12, the Jaguars were called for pass interference, moving the Raiders to first-and-goal on the 6. Raiders quarterback Quintavious Johnson then ran up the middle on three consecutive plays, scoring on a 1-yard run on third-and-goal with 4:21 remaining to bring the score to its final margin.

However, Mays wouldn’t get the ball back as Stephenson used 10 plays to move 26 yards and melt the final 4:12.

Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound freshman, rushed 18 times for 57 yards, both team highs.

The Jaguars have now given up an average of just 3.5 points this season. In a 19-7 win over Miller Grove last week, Miller Grove scored a defensive touchdown. The Jaguars' previous games against Lithonia and Arabia Mountain were shutouts in which they won a combined 42-0.

It was just the fourth contest of the season for the Jaguars who, as a DeKalb County School member, had their season delayed until October due to COVID-19 concerns. As a result, they will play just a seven-game regular season schedule this year. Nonetheless, they have a shot at a third consecutive region title after winning Region 4-6A the previous two seasons. They’ll play at the top-ranked Marist War Eagles next week in a game that will likely determine the 6-4A champion.

In a game played before Mays and Stephenson faced off, the War Eagles were also at Buck Godfrey Stadium and defeated Arabia Mountain 33-3 to improve to 5-0, 2-0.

The Jaguars have reached the postseason every year dating back to 2000, and Ron Gartrell has been the program’s only coach, founding the program in 1996.

The Raiders are coming off a 10-2 season in which they won Region 5-6A for the third time in the previous four seasons and they’ve reached the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons. However, they’re in danger of their first losing season since 2002 and their first non-winning season since 2012 (5-5). They’ll play Miller Grove next week at Lakewood Stadium.

Mays 0 0 0 7 — 7

Stephenson 12 3 0 0 — 15

S — Rahim Diarrassouba 39 pass from Sedrick Hill (run failed)

S — Dorian Helm 55 INT return (kick failed)

S — Emmanual Rios 29 FG

M — Quintavious Johnson 1 run (Elijah Byner kick)