Seminole County star running back Chris Brown shakes off the tackle of Miller County defensive back T.J. Means during the first half of Friday’s annual rivalry game between the Indians and the Pirates en route to his first touchdown of the game. Brown finished with 134 yards rushing and two scores as the Indians turned a traditionally close battle into a 48-6 rout. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
COLQUITT -- Is there anybody who can stop Seminole County right now?
After the Indians ran all over Miller County on Friday night en route to a 48-6 victory, Miller County coach Frank Killingsworth sure doesn't think so.
"If a team can beat them, it's going to be a team late in the playoffs, but I don't know who can get them right now," Killingsworth said about the Indians, who are ranked No. 5 in the state coaches Top 10 poll, No. 9 in the Georgia Sportswriters Association Top 10 Poll and No. 1 in The Herald's Fab 5 Poll.
With their eighth win in a row, the Indians cruised to a win in the annual "Border Wars/Family Feud" rivalry game to improve to 8-1 overall and 6-0 in Region 1-A.
There wasn't anybody in Region 1-A who could even touch the Indians this season as they clinched their first region championship in 37 years, which was a little extra special for Seminole County coach Alan Ingram considering he was there for his school's first region title as a player back in 1967.
"That was the first one, so that one was the sweetest one," Ingram said. "But this one's pretty sweet, too. I'm proud to be the next coach to win one (since his own high school coach)."
Seminole County senior and Herald Dynamite Dozen selection Chris Brown led the way with 134 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
But he wasn't alone.
Antwan Buggs (108 yards, 3 TD), Barren Rambo (94 yards, one TD) and Javaris Virgin (27 yards, one TD) did the rest.
One after the other, the Indians were taking handoffs and moving the chains. So who is going to stop these kids from Donalsonville?
"I really don't think anybody can beat us," Buggs said. "We practice hard every day, and our coach said this is one of the best teams he has seen in a long time."
The Indians had been talking about this game all season and had two weeks to prepare for it. And what seemed like half the town of Donalsonville came to Colquitt to watch the high-flying, run-all-over-you Indians who now own a 33-32-3 advantage in the series.
Seminole County fans filled up the visitor's stands and were lined up several rows deep on the Indians' sideline and in the back of one end zone.
"The fans liked this," Buggs said with a smile.
"It was hyped. We have the support, and it feels great to have all the support we need," Brown said. "I feel pretty good ... awesome. To beat Miller County your senior year ... it doesn't get better than this."
Miller County had just 109 total yards in the game and fell to 3-6 overall and 3-3 in the region.
The Indians, who rumbled to 374 rushing yards and 397 total yards, came out pounding the ball straight through the Pirate defense on their first possession and never let up.
Seminole County led, 21-0, at the end of the first quarter and 42-0 at halftime. The only thing that eventually stopped the Indians was a running clock in the second half.
"I felt like the key coming into the game was to score early," Ingram said. "They have lost several games this year, and with kids it's all about the mental thing. At the end of the first quarter it was 21-0, and I just felt like the game was going to end like it did."
Brown got things started first with a 6-yard rushing touchdown four minutes into the game. Two minutes later, Brown broke free for a 52-yard rushing touchdown to put the Indians ahead, 13-0. Buggs added his first touchdown with 1:33 left in the first quarter -- and the rout was on. By the end of the first quarter, Brown had already racked up 111 rushing yards.
Buggs scored twice in the second quarter on runs of 2 and 3 yards, and Virgin -- who also had two interceptions -- found the end zone on a 6-yard run.
The Indians took a 42-0 lead into the locker room and were well on their way to their third straight win in the series.
"We are very fortunate right now," Ingram said. "The biggest key for us is staying healthy. We don't have very much depth, so we need to stay healthy."
The teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Rambo got his 8-yard TD for the Indians, and Miller County quarterback Algin Merritt threw an 80-yard TD pass to Lamar Perkins.
Merritt started his second game of the season at quarterback, replacing Pirate senior and Herald Dynamite Dozen selection T.T. Barber, who moved to receiver/running back.
Barber had two runs for 16 yards and two catches for 33 yards, while Merritt finished with negative 30 yards rushing and 127 passing yards on 4-for-20. Merritt also had five turnovers -- two fumbles and three interceptions.
"Turnovers will kill you every time. You can't play a team like this and turn the ball over five times," Killingsworth said. "But (Merritt) is getting more comfortable. We didn't protect him real well (Friday night(. He's getting better, and we will build on that, too."