Evans could have stewed for two weeks after suffering its first region loss in almost two years.
Instead, the Knights prepared for Harlem and its option attack. The Knights released any remaining frustration, beating the Bulldogs 40-0 Friday night at Blanchard Stadium.
Evans (2-1) lost to Lakeside to open Region 3-AAAA play. The region loss was the Knights' first since 2007. They had an undefeated run to the region title last season.
Coach Marty Jackson's team had a bye Sept. 11, and steamrolled Harlem on its return.
"We took it to heart," Evans defensive lineman Brandon Ketchup said of the Knights' loss to the Panthers. "But we put it behind us. We had a good year last year, but you can't win them all."
Juniors Jamerson Turner and Will Scott combined to rush for five scores the first half.
Harlem (0-3) led at some point during each of its first two games, which were losses to Greenbrier and Glenn Hills. In both games, the Bulldogs ran out of steam.
Evans didn't let the Bulldogs get started Friday. Defensive back Austin Jackson intercepted Harlem on the Bulldogs' first play, setting the Knights up on Harlem's 10.
Scott scored his first touchdown two plays later.
When talking about preparing for Harlem's offensive scheme, Ketchup and Jackson both referenced the way the University of Miami handled Georgia Tech's triple option in Thursday's Atlantic Coast Conference game.
"A lot of assignment football," Ketchup said of what Evans worked on during its open week. "Harlem's good with the option. But we stayed put."
Evans can still contend for a second region title in a row. But a lot rides on what Lakeside does.
Evans next travels to Glenn Hills. The Panthers beat the Spartans on Friday to improve to 2-0 in region play.
"I can't worry about what they do," Jackson said of Lakeside. "I need to take care of our game."
Harlem senior quarterback Zach Morris ripped off several big plays.
His 46-yard run in the second quarter set the Bulldogs up at Evans' 17. The Knights recovered a fumble on the next play.
Harlem drove into Evans territory late in the fourth quarter but stalled at the Knights' 15.
Morris finished as the Bulldogs leading rusher, averaging more than 10 yards a carry. But the Bulldogs were denied the end zone, and coach Jimmie Lewis declined comment after the game.
"I liked the way our team responded," Jackson said.
Reach Stephen Fastenau at (706) 863-6165, ext. 116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EVANS 40, HARLEM 0
PLAY OF THE GAME: Evans defensive back Austin Jackson intercepted Harlem quarterback Zach Morris on the first play of the game and rumbled to the Bulldogs' 10. The Knights scored two plays later to set the tone.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Knights defensive end Craig Garr led Evans' defense in snuffing out Harlem's tricky triple option.
WHY HARLEM LOST: The Bulldogs started on the wrong foot offensively and lacked the depth to stay in it.
WHY EVANS WON: The Knights established the ground game early and wore down Harlem's defense.
NEXT: Evans at Glenn Hills, Friday, 7:30 p.m. Harlem at Lakeside, Friday, 7:30 p.m.