TALLAPOOSA -- After a strong showing in their preseason scrimmage last Friday, the Gordon Central Warriors were looking to keep the momentum going in their regular season opener on Friday night. Unfortunately, the momentum went the other way as Haralson County grabbed it almost from the opening whistle and never let it go.
The Rebels broke off a series of long touchdown runs in the first half and used that to cruise to a 35-7 home victory over Gordon Central.
The Warriors (0-1) had a tough time corralling the Rebels’ run game for much of the night on Friday, and that attack was led by senior running back Treylon Sheppard who had a huge night with 279 yards on 21 carries and four touchdowns.
Gordon Central fell behind on the second play from scrimmage in the game as Sheppard broke free and sprinted 82 yards to the end zone to put the Rebels up 6-0. (The extra point failed.)
After Haralson County (1-0) got a defensive stop on the Warriors’ first offensive drive and took over in Gordon Central territory due to a botched punt attempt, the Rebels capitalized several plays later with Sheppard plunging in for his second score of the night, this one from two yards out. He then tacked on two more with a successful two-point conversion run. The drive was kept alive by a 30-yard pass from Haralson County quarterback Javon Sheppard to his brother and tailback Treylon on fourth down.
Gordon Central put together a solid drive into Haralson County territory on the next possession, but it ended when the Rebels’ Phillip Haldeman picked off a pass and ran it back toward midfield. Haldeman then completed the sequence with a 46-yard touchdown run, which coupled with Treylon Sheppard’s two-point run made it 22-0 early in the second quarter.
The final score of the first half came on a 44-yard scamper by Treylon Sheppard to make it 28-0 after the kick failed. That would be the score at the half as Gordon Central had a late chance to score following a fumble recovery by Jordan Jacques in Haralson County territory, but they were stopped on four downs with less than a minute to go in the half.
The second half featured a defensive battle back and forth between both teams with Gordon Central’s defense being opportunistic in the turnover category. They forced and recovered three more fumbles to give them four for the game. Among the players recovering fumbles for the Warriors were Dillon Hatfield and Jake Moser.
After the teams went scoreless in the third quarter, Treylon Sheppard added to his huge night with a 31-yard touchdown run to make it 35-0 early in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors got something positive toward the end of the game when Cam Pierce scored on an 11-yard touchdown run for his team’s only points of the night following Moser’s fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter. Pierce was GC’s leading rusher with 39 yards on nine carries.
Brady Lackey had a solid night in the passing game as well with 93 yards on nine completions. Dawson lackey had five catches for 48 yards, and Pierce added three catches for 38 yards.
The Warriors will return home next Friday to play Christian Heritage in another non-region contest at Ratner Stadium.