- Tyler Harden
Grayson overpowers Collins Hill to win 7A State Championship
Photo Credit: Gwinnett Daily Post (Kyle Hess)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA— The Grayson Rams have dominated the 2020 high school football season in the state of Georgia. The Rams were looking to add to their impressive program legacy with their 3rd state championship in the last ten years. It wouldn’t come so easy, however, as they were set to face Collins Hill in the 7A State Championship, a team that knocked off Lowndes to get to the final, and was playing their best football when it mattered most. The two teams were familiar with each other, after Grayson beat Collins Hill on September 18th 28-7. But it has been three months since then, both teams have gotten better, overcome adversity, and were ready to cap off this unusual high school football season as state champions.
Grayson received the opening kickoff, and went right to work. Running back, Joseph Taylor Jr., lead the Rams down the field to the Collins Hill 37-yard line. Quarterback, Jake Garcia, did the rest, as he found Jamal Haynes for an early 37-yard touchdown to put Grayson up 7-0 (PAT good). After the Grayson defense forced a three and out on Collins Hill’s first offensive possession, the Collins Hill defense found some energy. The Eagles were able to force 4th down from the Collins Hill 13-yard line, but Grayson was confident in their offense, and decided to go for it. The confidence paid off, as Jayvian Allen took the direct snap from wildcat formation, and ran up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown (PAT good). Shortly after, the Rams defense made an impact, as Tyler Pugh intercepted a pass from Sam Horn, and Grayson took over at their own 41-yard line. After Jamal Haynes caught a screen pass for a first down to the Collins Hill 45-yard line, the first quarter ended with Grayson up 14-0.
The Rams kept their momentum going into the second quarter, as Jayvian Allen took another snap from wildcat formation, ran 2-yards for a touchdown, and gave Grayson a 21-0 lead (PAT good). After both teams were forced to punt, Collins Hill quarterback, Sam Horn, completed a screen pass to Travis Hunter to give the Eagles their first 1st down of the game. Just as the Eagles started to find tempo to the offense, they dropped a lateral pass, Grayson recovered, and returned the ball all the way to the Collins Hill 22-yard line. The offense took advantage of the great field position they had, as Jayvian Allen took the direct snap once again, and ran it 6 yards into the end zone for his third touchdown of the game, increasing Grayson’s lead to 28-0 (PAT good).
Jayvian Allen not only made an impact on offense, but on defense as well, as he intercepted a pass from Sam Horn, and returned it 20 yards to the Collins Hill 23-yard line. After Jake Garcia used his legs to bring the Rams to the Collins Hill 6-yard line, he then found freshman wide receiver, Myles Woods, in the end zone for a touchdown to make the score 35-0 (PAT good). As the first half was soon to end, Travis Hunter, who is a Top 5 overall player in the Class of 2022 according to 247 sports, and is committed to Florida State, had to make a web gem play. Hunter was able to make a great catch on 3rd and 22 to bring the Eagles to their own 30-yard line. But after the Eagles could not go forward from there, they were forced to punt, and the first half ended with Grayson in the lead 35-0.
Collins Hill did not back down to start the second half, as Clint Gilbert returned the kickoff to the Grayson 42-yard line. After the Eagles were able to get to the Grayson 15-yard line, Sam Horn capped off the drive on 3rd and goal with a touchdown pass to Travis Hunter to give Collins Hill their first points of the game. Grayson didn’t flinch, however, as the offense went right back to work, and brought themselves to the Collins Hill 15-yard line. But the Eagles were able to control them, forcing 4th and 8. The Rams settled for a 30-yard field goal to make the score 38-7.
The Rams defense bounced back after allowing a touchdown on the last possession, as they forced a 4th down and 10. Collins Hill attempted a 30-yard field goal, missed wide right, and Grayson took over at their own 20-yard line. After Collins Hill forced a three and out and a punt for Grayson, Sam Horn completed a deep pass on a flea flicker to Clint Gilbert for a touchdown, and made the score 38-14 (PAT good). After Travis Hunter intercepted a pass from Jake Garcia on 3rd down, and returned it to the Grayson 35-yard line, the third quarter ended with Grayson up 38-14.
The Grayson defense brought up fourth down to start the fourth quarter, but the Eagles decided to go for it. Sam Horn completed a pass to Travis Hunter in the end zone, but his feet were out of bounds, forcing a turnover, and giving the ball to Grayson at their own 8-yard line. After the Eagles’ defense forced a punt, Sam Horn lead the Eagles down the field to the Grayson 25-yard line in their last attempt to get back in the game. But Rams were able to bring up 4th and 1, force an incomplete pass to Travis Hunter in the end zone, and a turnover on downs to take over at their own 6-yard line. Grayson was able to run out the remaining clock from there, and secured a 38-14 state championship win.
The Grayson Rams end their perfect season in dominant fashion. With a record of 14-0, the Rams will likely be the number 1 high school football team in Georgia according to MaxPreps to end the 2020 football season. Collins Hill falls to 12-3, and will have a strong chance to make another deep run in the playoffs next season with many returning starters.