LOUISVILLE, Ga. - Two coaches shook hands in the aftermath of a Region 3-AAA showdown.
Only Jefferson County's J.B. Arnold was smiling. He had reason to grin.
The Warriors ran for 304 yards in a 22-6 victory against Burke County to secure a grip on first place in the region.
Bears coach Steve Summers was still trying to figure out how the Warriors trampled over his defense. It was the same defense that hung with Lincoln County, dispatched Thomson and shut out South Effingham.
But Arnold was the one seeking answers afterward. Jefferson will play host to South Effingham next week, with a region title on the line.
"OK, Steve," Arnold said. "Tell me what I need to do to beat (South) Effingham next week."
Summers hardly broke stride on his way to the locker room, but he answered: Anyone could have seen this coming.
"Just do what you did tonight and you're going to be just fine," Summers said. "You'll be real fine."
Earlier this week, Arnold worried whether he would look like a genius or a beginner after this contest. Arnold's plan was not a multifold strategy.
It mostly involved senior running back Jeffrey Walker. Walker obliged with his sixth 200-yard game this season and cracked the 1,500-yard barrier through eight games with a career-high 247-yard night.
"We gave it to Jeffrey 36 times, but I tell you what, I have a pretty good offensive line," Arnold said.
"What I like about this win is it gives us confidence. Jefferson County has been down for a pretty long time. It feels great to be on top of the world."
The first of Walker's two touchdown runs was a meeting of two terrific football players. Burke County linebacker Marcus Washington, an early verbal commitment to Georgia, had Walker in his sights. Walker had the end zone in his view.
And Walker took advantage for an 89-yard touchdown run that put the Warriors ahead 12-6 in the second quarter.
"He tries to stop me but I just kept my legs moving," Walker said. "He tried to get me but I broke his tackle."
Jefferson County (6-2, 3-0 Region 3-AAA South) needed only one pass. Holding a 12-6 edge at the half, the Warriors stopped a Burke County drive with an interception.
Then they battered them with 16 consecutive running plays. They didn't find the end zone, but sophomore Tim Nelson added a field goal to go up 15-6. The drive lasted almost eight minutes.
"They drove it down their throats when they had to," Summers said.
Walker added his second score of the night and 21st of the year, with a six-yard dash with 4:30 to go in the fourth quarter. Washington provided Burke's only score with a 32-yard run in the second quarter.
Reach Jeff Sentell at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
KEVIN MARTIN/STAFFJefferson County's Jeffrey Walker (right) runs for his team's second touchdown against Burke County in the first half on Friday night. Walker tallied his sixth 200-yard game in a row Friday night. The senior went over the 1,500-yard mark in eight games. [CAPTION]
Burke County quarterback Daniel Fowler (left) is sacked by Dontavius Meadow of Jefferson County.[CAPTION]
Dennis Thomas (left), of Jefferson County, runs past Burke County linebacker Marcus Washington for the game's first touchdown during the first quarter.
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