Worth County’s Ellis Anderson scores on a two-point conversion during the Region 1-AAA showdown at Hugh Mills, which the Rams won easily to improve to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the region. Anderson rushed for 313 yards and four TDs in the victory. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ALBANY -- Ellis Anderson was a man among boys Thursday night.
The Worth County running back had 313 rushing yards -- 202 of which came in the first half -- and four touchdowns, which easily propelled the Rams to a 43-13 drubbing of Dougherty in a Region 1-AAA matchup.
"I had a feeling it was going to be a great night," Anderson said with a huge smile. "I have to give it all to my line and fullback; without them I'm nothing."
The Rams bumped their record up to 4-5 (2-3 in the region) while the Trojans dropped their sixth straight game and fell to 1-8 overall and 0-5 in the region.
"It's a hard one," Dougherty quarterback Willie Jones said of the defeat. "We have to do better in practice and stay focused during the game and keep our heads up."
What Jones and the Trojans could not do was jump off to a good start, while the Rams did that and more. Anderson carried the ball all six plays of the Rams opening series and capped it off with a 4-yard touchdown.
On the Trojans' opening play, Jones fumbled the ball away to Worth County's James Rockwell on an option pitch. The next play quarterback Savon Farley hooked up with Marlin Hall on a 32-yard score. After a Dougherty punt, it was back on the ground with Anderson who scored his second touchdown from one yard out, giving the Rams a 22-0 advantage.
"We can't go out there and give up 22 points in the first quarter and think we are going to win a football game," Dougherty head coach Jesse Hicks said. "Our guys just have to turn around and fight when it's time to fight from first quarter to fourth. (If) we do a better job of playing together then we make it a football game."
The Trojans mustered just 26 rushing yards in the first half. Jones, who was sacked three times and completed one pass for negative yardage, was never able to get into a rhythm against the Rams' defense.
"We controlled the line of scrimmage on the defensive side, which is a big deal," Worth County coach Scotty Ward said. "If you can stop the run and make them throw, you have a chance."
First quarter aside, the Trojans did hold the Rams to a modest 21 points, giving up a score in each of the three remaining quarters. On offense, their first scoring drive came halfway through the third quarter with Jones setting things up with a big 31-yard run. Alford Brown did the rest, running up the middle for a 15-yard touchdown.
Dougherty's Demario Barney came up big for the Trojans with a fumble recovery on the Rams' ensuing possession. The Trojans got the ball back on Worth County's 4-yard line where Jones drove in the end zone for the Trojans' second and final score.
"Everybody is going to try and fight back, but we just made some mistakes here and there," Anderson said. "Our defense (still) played a (heck) of a game. Without them making stops we would not be able to go on offense."
Some of those stops included three turnovers -- two of which were interceptions off Jones.
"Jones made some mistakes, but he also made some plays," Hicks said in defense of Jones. "What I like from him is that after he makes a mistake he gets right back out there with the same effort. He doesn't get down. He's even keel, and that's what you want from a quarterback."
Hicks also lauded Ticorey Frazier who, in his estimation, provided the team with a much-needed spark on defense.
Still, Anderson had his way with the Trojans, gaining 111 more yards in the second half.
"Ellis did a heck of a job following his blocks," Ward said. "Everything just went the right way for us. It was just one of those nights where everything kind of went our way early."
The Trojans close out their season next week against city rival Monroe. The Rams will host Crisp County for their finale.