Turnovers plagued the Shaw Raiders a week ago in a disappointing loss to rival Carver, but they refused to duck their heads.
Instead, they placed the ball in the hands of standout running back Kyle Griswould, who left Harris County with empty arms. Griswould powered a steady and balanced offense which yielded no turnovers and No. 8 Shaw cruised past Harris County for a 27-3 Region 2-AAA win Friday night at Kinnett Stadium.
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"We knew we had to limit the turnovers," Griswould said. "That kind of motivated us. Our attitude was that Harris County wasn’t going to lay down for us, so we had to come out and play."
Griswould credited his offensive line for creating huge gaps for him. He finished the night with 238 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries.
"What can you say about Kyle," Shaw coach Scott Newman said. "You give him the ball in space, and he makes plays. Our offensive line was doing a great job."
Griswould said the Raiders (2-1, 2-1) learned from a year ago when they lost to Carver early in the season yet bounced back and won in the Class AAA semifinals. Against the Tigers, Shaw demonstrated a balanced offensive attack with quarterback Cam Greathouse connecting on 13 of 18 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown.
The Raiders made the most of their opportunities, scoring on 4 of 5 trips inside the red zone.
"I thought we were a little sluggish at times, and I was concerned about the second half. I didn’t want a letdown," Newman said. "But we controlled the football. It was exactly what we wanted to do."
The Raiders led 14-3 at the half and tacked on a pair of second-half touchdowns, the first on a 1-yard Griswould run and the second on a 7-yard touchdown reception by Dominique Flowers.
Harris County (1-2, 1-2) moved the ball well at times, but struggled to finish drives. The Tigers drove to the Shaw 23 in the first half, but turned the ball over on downs. They settled for a 24-yard Jarod Parkes field goal on their next drive. It was more of the same in the second half as a 7-minute drive ended on the Shaw 16, then the Tigers’ final drive stalled on the 30.
"They’re a good ball club, finished state runner-up last year," Harris County coach Tommy Parks said. "Against a good ball club, you’ve got to execute on both sides of the football. We’ve come a long way. We took the ball and moved it, but just couldn’t punch it in. But we didn’t quit or give up."
The Raiders scored on their first possession, with a 60-yard Griswould run setting up a 1-yard keeper by Greathouse. A penalty wiped out a Griswould touchdown run on Shaw’s next possession despite a 54-yard reception by Antoine Stevenson.
A 34-yard pass play from Chad Klar to Bentavious Trammell allowed Harris County to cut the lead to 7-3 on Parkes’ field goal, but Shaw moved the ball well with just 2:51 left in the half.
The Raiders pushed downfield from their 20 on an 11-yard pass to Johnathon Jones and runs of 24 and 21 yards by Griswould. Facing fourth-and-2 at the Tiger 10, Shaw went for it and drew a pass interference call. Bryan Willis scored from the 5 on the next play.
Demarcris Wilson rushed for 67 yards on 11 attempts for Harris County, while Klar was 3-of-6 passing for 53 yards.
Contact Christa Turner at 706-571-8505