It wasn’t the kind of home- and season-opener the Grovetown Warriors were looking for Friday night.
Playing host to the Washington County Golden Hawks, the Warriors were outplayed in all phases of the game, losing 65-14.
In their only two previous meetings, Washington County had beaten Grovetown by an average of 42-14 and bettered that by halftime, leading 44-7.
“You want to be great right off the bat and win them all, it’d be nice, but it doesn’t work out like that,” said Warriors head coach Rodney Holder, who said they were missing three key seniors. “After week one there’s a lot of people who have a different plan. So, we’re in the plan now to get better and win every one but this one.”
The Warriors couldn’t contain the Golden Hawks offensive attack, which scored on six of its first seven possessions. All told, the Golden Hawks racked up 558 yards of offense, rushing for 425 yards on 29 attempts. Quarterback William Walker rushed for 76 yards and two scores and passed for 133 yards and two scores.
The Warriors rushed 29 times for 168 yards. The team attempted just four passes, completing two for 14 yards. Special teams also had an early breakdown, allowing a punt to be blocked, setting up a quick Golden Hawks first-quarter score.
The game is one the Warriors purposely won’t forget anytime soon.
“We’ll take this game to practice Monday and keep it in our head and build on it to get better,” said Warriors running back Jamal Cummings. “I don’t think we’re as bad as the score shows.”
Cummings was a bright spot for the Warriors. He returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and rushed for 108 yards, including a 83-yard burst down the sideline for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Leading 7-6 with 2:36 to play, the Bulldogs lost a fumble and Georgia Military took advantage, scoring the game-winning touchdown three plays later.
The Bulldogs fumbled nine times, losing seven of them.
“It’s the most disappointing loss I’ve had in a long time,” said head coach Jimmie Lewis, who had nothing but praise for his defensive unit.
The Augusta Christian Cavaliers jumped out to a 21-0 lead an never looked back, taking down Bethlehem Christian 36-12 in its season-opener.
Nolan Brandon rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns while quarterback Jack Owen was five for seven for 149 yards.
The Panthers allowed Statesboro to rush for 285 yards and committed 10 penalties in its home- and season-opening loss.