Indians cough up loss on rainy night
by Doug Gorman
The East Coweta Indians' hopes of advancing to the second round of the state playoffs ended on a cold and drizzly night at Garland Shoemake Memorial Stadium Friday, as visiting Lowndes High School took control of the game early and never looked back en route to a 38-10 victory.
East Coweta was hoping to advance to the second round of the state playoffs for the second year in a row, but ends its season with a 5-6 record.
Lowndes (8-3), which earned the No. 3 seed out of Region 1-AAAAAA, built a 23-3 lead at the end of the first half behind a wing-T offense that substituted freely on it way to taking a 20-point halftime lead.
Eleven different players carried the ball for the Vikings.
Lowndes outgained East Coweta 304 to 153, with most of its yards coming on the ground.
Three different running backs found the end zone for the Vikings.
'They have a lot of quality athletes and a lot of depth,' East Coweta coach Clint Wade said. 'They certainly had a lot of elements.'
East Coweta was its own worst enemy at times, turning the ball over on back-to-back fumbles in the first half.
The Vikings' final touchdown of the second quarter came when Bryan Roe picked up one of the East Coweta turnovers and returned it 27 yards for a score.
'We made too many mistakes,' Wade said. 'You can't do that when you are playing a team like Lowndes.'
The Vikings showed their offensive punch early, scoring touchdowns on two of their first three series, including drives of 60 and 57 yards.
Alex Brown started the Vikings' scoring with a 16-yard run to cap a nine-play drive. He helped set up the score with a 15-yard run.
Two series later, the Vikings put together another time-consuming drive that took 13 plays. This time, Brandon Roberts scored the first of his two touchdowns rolling into the end zone on a 1-yard run.
They also added a 23-yard field goal from Nick Hart with a little more than a minute to go in the second quarter to go up 23-0.
After getting a score from its special teams, Lowndes tried a little trickery, attempting an onside kick, but East Coweta recovered the ball and also picked up yardage when the Vikings were called for a personal foul.
East Coweta started its drive at the Lowndes 47 and picked up 17 yards on the drive, setting up Cole Antley's 47-yard field goal as time expired.
Lowndes started the third quarter just like it began the game, with a long drive that ate up nearly five minutes.
Nine plays later, Jerome Daniels became the third running back to score for the Vikings, capping a series with a five-yard touchdown.
Roberts added his second touchdown of the night for the Indians, scoring from the 1 on the first series of the fourth quarter.
Bryce Gemmel closed out his high school career with a solid night, throwing for 155 yards and completing passes to four different wide receivers, including E.J. Ransom, who hauled in five, including a short 2-yard pass with 6:15 left for the Indians' only score of the game.
The senior's biggest pass of the night came when he connected with Chaz Cherry on a 26-yard reception to convert a fourth down.
East Coweta only had four first downs in the first half, but moved the sticks three times during its touchdown drive.
Wade knows the offseason, especially time in the weight room, is going to be key.
'We got pushed around pretty good tonight,' he said. 'I think our guys know how important the offseason is going to be.'
VIKINGS 38, INDIANS 10
Lowndes 8 15 8 7-38 East Coweta 0 3 0 7-10
L-Alex Brown 16 run (two-point conversion good), 6:49
L-Brandon Roberts 1 run (two-point conversion failed)7:30 L-Byran Roe 27 fumble recovery (two-point failed). 5'16 L-Nick Hart 23 field goal, 1:01 EC-Cole Antley 47 field goal THIRD QUARTER
L-Jermome Daniels 5-yard run (Daniels 2-point conversion), 7:35
L-Roberts 3-run (Nick Hart kick), 11:52 E-Bryce Gemmel 2 pass to EJ. Ransom (Antley kick), 6:15