Offense clicks early in Knights' victory
By Stephen Fastenau | Columbia County Bureau
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Highlights from the first half of the Evans at Glenn Hills prep football game.

Troy Griffith isn't asked to do much for the Evans offense. Often, he doesn't need to.

The Knights' stable of running backs takes some pressure off their senior quarterback.

But Griffith set the tone early Friday during Evans' 37-18 victory at Glenn Hills. He scored the Knights' first touchdown on a fourth-down sneak and later threw a 25-yard strike to Tevin Nelson for another score.

"Once you get it going (in the air), it's a lot easier to run the ball,' Griffith said. "We came out with a pass on the first play and went from there."

The rest of the Knights offense got rolling. Running back Jonathan Finch surpassed the 100-yard mark for the first time this season. Kicker Jamie Galvin made all three of his field goal attempts, two from more than 40 yards.

Evans (3-1, 2-1 Region 3-AAAA) contained Glenn Hills' running backs early and forced the Spartans to the throw. Glenn Hills quarterback Kendrick Armstrong was able to move the Spartans through the air and threw a late touchdown pass, but too much went wrong for coach Ernest Tolbert's team before that.

"It looked like Murphy's law," said Tolbert, whose team fell to 1-2 in region play.

Evans' defense forced three first-half turnovers, and the Knights benefited from a bad snap on an Spartans' punt attempt, leading to Griffith's touchdown pass.

Griffith and Evans coach Marty Jackson said the loss to Lakeside to start region play left a bad taste in the mouths of players and coaches. But after being shut out by the Panthers, the Knights have score a combined 77 points in two wins.

"It was a big win," Jackson said. "It was a must-win, really."

Galvin's success Friday was an added bonus. Jackson said the three field goals were Galvin's single-game best. The kicker connected from 41, 36 and 47 yards.

Jackson called a timeout and considered running the ball on fourth-and-8 from the Spartans' 30. But he sent Galvin out to try another.

The kick would have been good from 52.

"He's kicking it amazing," said Griffith, who holds for Galvin. "That (last kick) was possibly the most excited I got the whole game."

The game marked the return of Evans defensive end Craig Garr to his former school. Garr's hardship transfer to Evans was approved before the season. He had a big game in his return.

After the game, he hugged Tolbert and caught up with former teammates.

"I had to do what I had to do," Garr said of his strong performance against his former team. "But I still love them."

Reach Stephen Fastenau at (706) 863-6165, ext. 116 or stephen.fastenau@augustachronicle.com.

EVANS 37, glenn hills 18

PLAY OF THE GAME: Jonathan Finch 's 44-yard touchdown run in the second quarter looked to be stopped at the 20, but Finch bounced off a defender and scored easily.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jamie Galvin connected on three field goals for Evans. Two of the three came from more than 40 yards and punctuated a big night for the Knights offense.

WHY GLENN HILLS LOST: The Spartans turned the ball over four times in the first half and fell behind early.

WHY EVANS WON: The Knights started fast, scoring on their first two possessions, to force the Spartans to play catch-up from the beginning.

NEXT: Evans vs. Butler, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Glenn Hills at Cross Creek, Friday, 7:30 p.m.


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From the Saturday, September 26, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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