A huge crowd filled the Haralson County stands Friday night as the Banks County Leopards traveled to the banks of Beech Creek to take on the Rebels on homecoming night.
Haralson County Head Coach Scott Peavey was recognized during pregame activities for his 100th career win, and Haralson’s star players showed up to add one more win to the record books.
Peavey got No. 101 on Friday 56-0.
Haralson County started a bit sluggish on the first drive with two short rushes, but Wesley Cole rushed for a key first down to avoid a three-and-out on the first series of the game. The Rebels picked up the pace and continued to pick up first downs on their opening drive. Caiden Hughes completed the drive with a 10 yard TD rush off left tackle to give the Rebels an early 7-0 lead.
After the ensuing kickoff, Banks needed to respond, and Haralson County looked to prevent any response. HC’s Zach Burrell had an impressive sack on second down, and the Leopards faced a third down and long. The Leopards showed their skill in the passing game, however, and converted with a swing pass to the left. On the next set of downs, the Rebels’ defense held their own and forced a quick-kick punt by Banks County.
On the very next play, Wesley Cole went 70 yards to the house. That began a pattern between the two teams that continued throughout the game.
Haralson County pulled out some misdirection to allow Wesley Cole to sprint down the sideline to make the game 14-0, Rebels on top.
Banks County still needed to respond. After the kickoff, the Leopards came out fast and started the drive with an impressive 15-yard run. Two plays later, just as Banks began to gain momentum, defensive back Wesley Cole came up with a leaping interception to give Haralson County’s offense the ball once again.
Haralson started out the following series with a strong 8-yard run by Clay Hyatt. On the next down, Clay rolled to his right and completed a rare 20 yard pass to Jacob Rodriguez. The offensive line committed a couple of false starts, but the Rebels were unphased. Clay dropped back again, looked toward the end zone. Jojo Chandler sprinted past the Leopard secondary, and Clay launched a deep ball down the seam for a 43-yard scoring pass. 21-0 Rebels.
Banks County was now under a pile of Rebel scores. The Leopards completed a couple swing passes to the right and to the left, but the Haralson County defense forced another Leopard punt. The ball was once again in the hands of Hyatt.
This time, the drive began with a 20-yard run by Caiden Hughes. Just a couple plays later, Hyatt called his own number on a keeper up the middle. Hyatt picked his way through the Leopard defensive line and scored from 47 yards out putting the Rebels up 28-0 with two and a half minutes before halftime homecoming festivities.
After another stingy defensive series, and his earlier TD reception, Chandler put his eyes on the ball again and pulled off a 38-yard pick-six.
The 35-point lead induced a running clock as Banks County received the opening kickoff of the second half. The Leopards were looking for any source of momentum in general.
They got it.
Aided by a personal foul penalty by the Rebels, Banks County finally drove into HC territory. Banks converted several first downs on short runs and mid-range passes. Desperate for points, Banks went for it on 4th and 5 deep in Rebel territory.
HC’s Austin Hicks would not allow the conversion.
His key tackle for a loss on 4th down to give the ball back to the Rebel offense.
Hyatt once again found his way through the Leopard defense and leaped over the final defender for a spectacular 75 rushing TD.
Banks County once again had a chance for a bit of momentum on offense, but HC’s Kyle Miller recovered a Leopard fumble on the Banks 23 yard line.
It was time for HC to put in the second string. Even with the second team, Zach Sanders for Haralson County punched in yet another rushing TD putting the Rebels up 49-0 with roughly eight minutes left in the 4th quarter.
The second string defense for the Rebels also proved to be strong on the following offensive series by Banks County, forcing a three-and-out and another quick-kick.
Despite being up by 49, HC’s second string offense was still relentless. Haldyn Williams rushed for yet another HC touchdown. Haldyn rolled into the end zone to cap off the game at 56-0.