As a high school football player, there are two games that you want to win the most: your rivalry game and homecoming. The Cedar Shoals Jaguars have now accomplished half of that list, with a 14-0 shutout of the Oconee County Warriors last Friday.
Oconee entered Waters-Wilkins Stadium coming off a 20-0 win against Morgan County, but 4-star quarterback Max Johnson only threw 6-20 completions for 75 yards in that game.
Coming fresh off their bye week, the Jaguars looked to pick up where they left off against Greenbrier with their dominating 35-9 performance.
The game against the Warriors started slow with multiple punts from both Cedar and Oconee. Things changed as Cedar had the first turnover of the game with one of their two fumble recoveries.
Osiris Walker found the end zone on a 19-yard carry with seven minutes left in the first half. Cedar’s kicking game continued to suffer with a missed PAT.
Shortly thereafter with three minutes left in the half, Smith threw a 15-yard pass to wide receiver Williams in the back corner of the end zone for the final touchdown of the game. Cedar punched in a two-point conversion to extend their lead 14-0.
With the game becoming a defensive battle, both teams forced each other’s quarterbacks to struggle. Cedar Shoals quarterback Kiyonnice Smith went 5-13 with 42 yards and a touchdown. Johnson went 6-19 with 49 yards and an interception.
Cedar held Johnson with two big sacks of 17 and 12 yards, setting up long 2nd, 3rd, and 4th down situations. With a two score lead, Cedar was able to grind the clock down to zero.
“This is one of our best games. We got one of the best [offensive] lines in the state. They told me they had my back, all of the running backs, and if they do that just leave all the running to us,” said Smith.
Walker had 77 yards on 12 rushes and a touchdown, Smith had 85 yards on 10 rushes, and Bankston had 80 yards on 15 runs. In total, the trio ran for 242 yards, and Oconee had five rushers that went for 139 yards.
“The key to everything is defense. We have on of the best defenses in the region, matter of fact the best defense in the state,” said Smith.
The Cedar Defense is allowing 6.5 points per game this season.
Cedars Next game will be at Stephens County this Friday. Stephens is 3-2 coming off of a 41-28 win against Habersham Central.