The New Brockton Gamecocks (2-2, 2-1) rode a dominant second half to a 42-20 win over Class 2A Region 3 foe Central Hayneville Lions (2-2, 2-1) Friday night.
The Lions came into the game averaging 45 points per game and it looked as if an offensive classic was in the cards for both teams as the Lions and Gamecocks traded scores in the first half.
Central jumped ahead early in the first quarter, after a New Brockton turnover, and scored on a 17-yard touchdown run by quarterback Keegan Black. Running back Malek Hill ran in a 2-point conversation to give the Lions the early 8-0 lead with 10:07 remaining in the first quarter.
New Brockton responded on their ensuing drive with a 4-yard touchdown run by running back Drew Simon with 7:06 remaining in the first period. The Gamecocks failed to convert a 2-point try and Central still led 7-6.
Central extended its lead to 14-6 after Black threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to receiver Diontavious Holcombe with 2:24 remaining in the first quarter. Central failed on its second 2-point attempt.
New Brockton responded yet again when quarterback Caleb Griffin found fellow quarterback Dalton Adkison for a 19-yard touchdown pass with 11:50 remaining in the second quarter. The Gamecocks couldn’t convert the 2-point try and Central retained its lead 14-12.
Adkison played against Central in his first game since leaving the season opener with a concussion, but rather than return at quarterback he played both receiver on offense and safety on defense.
“For us it was about getting another athlete in space,” New Brockton coach Justin Jones said. “It helped us with him not taking as many hits and it also gave us somebody else in space that’s hard to tackle.”
That game plan certainly worked for the Gamecocks as Adkison ran for 97 yards on six rushes with two touchdowns and also caught three passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns. He gained 149 yards of total offense and scored four touchdowns. Adkison also had four tackles on defense.
Griffin found Adkison for his second touchdown catch with 7:25 remaining in the second quarter. The Gamecocks jumped ahead for the first time 20-14 after a successful 2-point try.
In the third quarter, Central responded with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Black to Hill. Central failed on a 2-point attempt and the game was tied at 20-20 with 7:36 remaining in the third quarter.
From there, the Gamecocks took control of the game.
“We kind of got settled in with all the craziness going on around us,” Jones said of the Gamecocks’ second half performance. “We got some stops on defense and caused a turnover in the second half and were able to hit some big stuff on offense to help us come out there with a win.”
Simon scored his second rushing touchdown with 3:55 remaining in the third to retake the 26-20 lead after a failed extra point attempt.
At the end of the third quarter, New Brockton extended its lead with a 57-yard touchdown run by Adkison. A successful 2-point conversion gave the Gamecocks a 34-20 lead.
With 7:46 remaining , New Brockton iced the game with a 13-yard touchdown run by Adkison and a 2-point conversion to give the Gamecocks the 42-20 win. A New Brockton fumble recovery set up the score.
“We played a good football team and we got a good win in a really crazy environment,” Jones said. “I thought our kids handled all that as good as they could and got the job done.
“(Central) Hayneville is a good football team and they will surprise some people this year. I’m just glad they didn’t surprise us Friday night.”
Along with Adkison’s big night, Simon added 120 yards and two touchdowns on 26 attempts. Griffin completed 8-of-11 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns along with 156 yards rushing on 11 attempts. The Gamecocks rushed for 388 yards to just 47 rushing yards for the Lions.
The Gamecocks were really able to shut down Central’s high-powered offense in the second half.
“I thought at times we played well (on defense),” Jones said. “We have to get better in the kicking game because their offense got some great field position with some of the things we didn’t do right in the kicking game.
“When you put your defense’s back against the wall it makes it tough on them. I was proud of the way they responded and played in the second half, though.”
Leading the Gamecock defense was Chase Cardwell with nine tackles and two sacks. Jake Holloway added eight tackles and a quarterback pressure. Wyatt Grice had four tackles, a quarterback pressure and a fumble recovery.