Big returns and short scoring drives helped propel the No. 6 Carver Tigers to a 47-0 victory over Henry County in a Region 2-AAA game Friday night at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium.
"We did some good things tonight and we did some bad things tonight," said Carver coach Dell McGee, who is now 82-18 in seven-plus seasons as head coach. "We had some negative plays on offense and committed penalties that we shouldn't have. But I thought we played hard, prepared well during the week and it showed tonight."
Carver (5-1, 2-0) got its first score after a good punt return put the Tigers in business at the Henry County 40-yard line.
Three plays later, quarterback Torrance McGee found Dreilon Freeman for a 34-yard touchdown pass and Tyrin Lewis made the extra point to give Carver a 7-0 lead with 5:34 to go in the first quarter.
Following a Henry County punt, McGee took care of things himself, scoring on a 39-yard run to finish off a six-play, 85-yard drive and the Tigers led 13-0 early in the second quarter. McGee finished the game with 56 yards on six carries and was 5-for-7 for 159 yards and a touchdown through the air.
The Warhawks (1-6, 0-3) got the ball back, but quarterback Tony Freeman was picked off by Kiante Walton, who returned it 45 yards to the Henry County 10-yard line. After a holding penalty backed Carver up to the 23, Brandon Thomas took a handoff and went 23 yards for a touchdown to give the Tigers a 21-0 lead with 8:10 to go in the first half.
Henry County's best scoring opportunity came on its next possession, as the Warhawks drove the ball to Carver's 9-yard line before giving the ball up on downs. Friday's game was the fourth time in six contests the Warhawks have scored seven or less points in a game.
"We just didn't execute offensively and we couldn't stop Carver defensively," said Henry County first-year head coach Joe Dupree. "Carver came into the game with a good gameplan."
Mario Moore set up Carver's final score of the first half with a 54-yard punt return to the Henry County 1-yard line. Moore got the touchdown himself on a 1-yard run to send the Tigers into halftime with a 28-0 lead.
McGee said his team had to take the Warhawks seriously despite their 1-5 overall record and winless region status coming into the game.
"We're too young to overlook anybody this season," said McGee. "We were able to get some momentum early on, but we've got to keep improving. We got better from the Pike County game and the bye week, but we want to keep getting better."
Carver took the opening kickoff of the second half and took just four plays to go 80 yards and score again. The big play came on a 75-yard pass from McGee to JaQuan Sanks and Thomas finished things off with a 17-yard run. Lewis made his third extra point of the game to put the Tigers up 35-0 with 10:08 left in the third quarter.
Later in the quarter, Carver took over on its own 20 and again went 80 yards -- this time in five plays -- to score. A 42-yard run by McGee and a 30-yard scamper by Moore were the key plays and Noah Hickey closed it out with a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Tigers a 41-0 lead going into the fourth quarter.
With a running clock, neither team was able to muster much offense in the final frame until the Tigers' Lanario McDaniel got loose for a 15-yard touchdown run with 2:27 to go to make it 47-0 and close out the scoring.
Carver finished the game with 442 yards of total offense, including 283 rushing yards on 39 carries.
Thomas had 56 yards on only four carries, Fred Coleman finished with 50 yards on two carries, Moore added 49 on six totes and Danny Ryles pitched in 34 yards on eight attempts. Meanwhile, the Tigers' defense held Henry County to just 112 yards of offense.
Carver hits the road next week to take on Southwest (Macon) in another region clash.
Friday at A.J. McClungMemorial Stadium
Henry Co. 0 0 0 0--0
Carver 7 21 13 6--47
C-Dreilon Freeman 34 pass from Torrance McGee (Tyrin Lewis kick), 5:34.
C-McGee 39 run (Kick failed), 10:04.
C-Brandon Thomas 23 run (Nate Barley run), 8:10.
C-Mario Moore 1 run (Lewis kick), 0:00.
C-Thomas 17 run (Lewis kick), 10:08.
C-Noah Hickey 5 run (Kick failed), 2:42.
C- Lanario McDaniel 15 run (Kneel down), 2:22.
Records: Henry County 1-6, 0-3 Region 2-AAA; Carver 5-1, 2-0. Next: Jackson at Henry County, Carver at Southwest (both Oct. 19).