Evans players might not have been looking past Josey last week, but they knew what was ahead.
The Knights travel to Hephzibah on Friday for probably their biggest game of the season to this point. A region victory would be Evans' sixth in a row since losing its region opener to Lakeside.
Coach Marty Jackson's team prepared with a 34-0 shutout of Josey at home Friday.
"We were focused on (Josey)," Evans senior Darnell Jackson said. "But I think more than anything, we were working hard for this one to prepare for the next one, for Hephzibah."
Evans (6-1, 5-1 Region 3-AAAA) is trying to play its way into a No. 2 seed and a home playoff berth. The Rebels are undefeated in region play, including a victory over Lakeside.
"I think they're the best team we've played this year," Marty Jackson said. "And Lakeside's a darn good team. We're going to have a challenge on our hands."
The Knights didn't need much variety to beat the Eagles.
Evans attempted only three passes, but it got three rushing touchdowns from Jonathan Finch and another on a Troy Griffith sneak.
Josey fell to 1-6 after having beaten Butler the week before. Riding high from their first win, the Eagles could not muster any momentum on the road.
"The practice this week was very intense -- everybody was working hard to try to put forward their best," Eagles running back Demarquies Dunn said. "It wasn't enough."
After allowing a season-high 26 points to Westside the week before, Evans locked down Josey's offense. The Eagles running game was grounded from the start, and the Knights intercepted Josey quarterback Markquis Burton three times in the first half.
Knights defensive back Austin Jackson picked off a Burton third-down pass on the Eagles' first drive. Sean Foote returned another Knights' interception 36 yards late in the second quarter to set up Evans' first score, a 29-yard Jonathan Finch touchdown run on the first play of the drive.
Safety Glenn Cassedy then stepped in front of Burton's last-ditch attempt as time expired in the first half.
Burton completed six of 12 passes in the first half, but Josey could not sustain a drive. Evans held Josey to 50 yards of total offense in the first half.
"Overall, I think the whole defense was just quicker today," Darnell Jackson said. "We had a good night."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.