Spartans' high-powered offense runs to blowout
By Justin Williams | Correspondent
Saturday, September 12, 2009

HARLEM --- The numbers were staggering.

Glenn Hills ran only 13 first-half plays, compared to Harlem's 40, and gained only two first downs before halftime thanks to the Bulldogs' ball-control, triple-option offense that ate up the clock.

What the numbers didn't account for was the Spartans' dynamic, big-play offense.

Justin Lord sprinted 75 yards for a score on Glenn Hills' first play from scrimmage and added three more touchdowns to lead the Spartans to a 40-15 victory in a Region 3-AAAA matchup.

"The thing we have worked hard on is being explosive from anywhere on the field," Glenn Hills coach Ernest Tolbert said. "We've got confidence in each other, and it showed."

Lord's 42-yard touchdown reception was arguably the most impressive of his scores.

He took a short pass from quarterback Kendrick Armstrong and headed upfield before cutting quickly past a pair of defenders en route to a score that put the Spartans ahead 28-8 late in the third quarter.

The senior running back finished with 137 total yards -- including 89 on the ground on six carries -- while fellow senior Tevarius Mack ran seven times for 83 yards.

Armstrong had a solid performance through the air, finishing 7 for 11 for 160 yards. Originally a running back, the junior credited the Spartans' work ethic for the team's cohesiveness on offense.

"We've worked after practice, before practice, at each others' house," said Armstrong, who added a rushing touchdown. "When we got on the field, we just did what we had to do."

Harlem controlled the ball -- and the clock -- for the majority of the first half. The Bulldogs plodded along for 132 first-half yards but couldn't keep up with the Spartans' high-scoring attack.

Harlem fumbled five times, losing two, and Bulldogs coach Jimmie Lewis cited the turnovers as momentum killers.

"I thought we did a decent job of moving the ball, but we can't make those mistakes," Lewis said.

For the Bulldogs, quarterback Zach Morris finished with 130 rushing yards to go along with 34 passing yards.

GLENN HILLS 40, HARLEM 15

PLAY OF THE GAME: On Glenn Hills' first offensive play, running back Justin Lord got to the outside and dashed 75 yards. Lord's long run set the tone on a night when the Spartans produced a handful of big plays.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Lord rushed for three touchdowns and scored again on a 42-yard pass from quarterback Kendrick Armstrong . The senior running back finished the night with 137 total yards from scrimmage, including 89 yards rushing on six carries.

WHY HARLEM LOST: The Bulldogs' ball-control, triple-option offense ate up much of the clock and allowed Harlem to steadily move the ball down the field. But Harlem could not keep up with the quick-scoring pace of Glenn Hills' offense.

WHY GLENN HILLS WON: The Spartans took full advantage of their chances to make big plays, producing three touchdowns of 39 yards or longer. That included Travis Jimperson 's 39-yard fumble return that extended Glenn Hills' lead to 20 points late in the third quarter.

NEXT: Lakeside at Glenn Hills; Harlem at Evans

From the Saturday, September 12, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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