HARLEM -While coach Rodney Holder thinks they have some things to iron out, the Grovetown Warriors rolled out their new offensive wrinkle successfully Friday night.
Playing up-tempo, the Warriors rushed for 271 yards and added another 159 through the air as they won their season opener, beating Harlem 37-0.
"We did the best thing we could to run our offense," said Holder, who wanted the offense to go faster than it did. "We've got a lot to work on, no doubt. It's early in the year for everybody."
The Bulldogs fell to 0-2 on the year, playing a county Region 2-AAAAA school for the second consecutive week.
With the Warriors playing out of the shotgun, sometimes it was junior Skyler Vance getting the ball and other times it was running back Ben Jean taking the direct snap. Vance, who Holder called deceptively fast, would finish with a game-high 102 yards on eight carries, mostly on keepers up the middle while Jean toted it eight times for 67 yards including a 14-yarder with 11:51 left in the game as the Warriors increased their lead to 30-0.
The Warriors jumped out to a 16-0 halftime lead and never let up.
The offense accounted for 28 points of their total. Their defense created a safety in the first half and then at defensive back, Jean ran an interception back 85 yards for a third-quarter touchdown. They also held the Bulldogs to just 114 total yards.
The safety came late in the first quarter giving the Warriors a 2-0 lead. After getting the free kick, the Warriors went 47 yards in seven plays with Eugene Govan punching it in from two yards out with 11:31 left in the half.
After forcing the Bulldogs to punt, the Warriors showed their quick-strike capability. Vance hit senior Alex Taul for a 32-yard gain across the middle, then the pair connected for a 48-yard touchdown on the next play.
"It was just a quarterback and receiver who worked hard in practice and that's what happens," said Taul, who would finish with four catches for 112 yards and the touchdown.
Vance finished the game 9 of 14 for 159 yards with the touchdown.
The Bulldogs struggled with their passing attack and running back Chris Brown led the offense with 56 yards on 17 carries.
"Turnovers hurt us and inexperience hurt us and we got tired and stopped tackling like we're supposed to," said Bulldogs' coach Jimmie Lewis. "We've got a young bunch and the more they learn, the better they'll get."