LOGANVILLE, Ga. — No. 4 Grayson dominated all four quarters of its contest against a tough Newton team Friday night to lock up the Region 4-AAAAAAA title with a 37-0 win and keep its undefeated season alive.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Grayson (9-0, 4-0) brought out the tricks almost immediately. Quarterback De’yon Cannon threw the wide receiver screen to Jaden Smith, who then threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to send a message early and take a 7-0 lead.
Newton’s offense started slow with a quick three-and-out, allowing Grayson’s Jamal Haynes to take the punt around midfield and run it back for the score to extend the lead to 14-0.
After holding Newton’s offense to two more punts, Grayson struck again.
Cannon connected with Phil Mafah for a 44-yard touchdown pass to give the Rams a 21-0 lead going into the second quarter.
Throughout much of the first half, Newton’s offensive struggles persisted inside Grayson territory, as they failed to score inside enemy territory multiple times early on.
Newton’s biggest breakthrough came on defense when Jaylen Lucas forced two fumbles just to have both recovered by Grayson. Shortly after the second fumble, Grayson’s backup quarterback Jacob Garcia was intercepted by Nolan McCamy to give Newton the ball around midfield.
Just as Newton was beginning to gain momentum, Newton coughed up the ball a few plays later. The Grayson defender returned it for a 70-yard “scoop-and-score” to widen the lead 28-0 midway through the second quarter.
Grayson crossed the goal line one more time before half as running back Joseph Taylor Jr. scored on a 22-yard rush to put Grayson up 34-0 after a missed extra point attempt.
At halftime, it appeared the only hope for Newton to get back in the game was for there to be a big breakthrough on offense.
The third and fourth quarters were quiet for both teams, as the only points scored during the half come on a field goal by Grayson to extend the lead to 37-0.
Despite Newton junior quarterback Jevarra Martin Jr. making the right throws, the Grayson defense limited the yards after catch consistently, which in turn limited much movement down the field for Newton.
Following the tough region loss, Newton drops to 3-5 overall with a 1-2 record in region play.
Newton will be at home next week as it looks to get back on track with another region matchup against the South Gwinnet Comets on Friday, Nov. 20.