The Valdosta Daily Times
The Lowndes Vikings cruised to a convincing 57-0 homecoming win over the Hardaway Hawks Friday night at Martin Stadium.
Six different Vikings scored touchdowns on the night as the Lowndes offense racked up 457 yards of total offense, 358 on the ground.
“We played well,” Lowndes head coach Randy McPherson said. “It all starts with the O-line, they had a great night. I am very proud of them.”
Nick Burgman scored two rushing touchdowns, while Jerome Daniels finished the night with a rushing and receiving touchdown, both of which came in the second quarter.
“There is no I in team,” Burgman said. “It is a good thing when you have multiple running backs that can run and score. We all practice hard Monday through Thursday and on Friday, we all come to play.”
Ahman Brown recorded a game-high 118 yards rushing on just five carries. He also found the end zone, scoring on a 50-yard run in the second quarter.
Two of Lowndes’ touchdowns came through the air. Both Viking quarterbacks tossed touchdowns on the night. Seth Carlo connected with Kenny Moore on a 38-yard touchdown in the first quarter to put Lowndes up 13-0. The Vikings converted the two-point conversion on a Burgman run to go ahead 15-0.
Alex Stephenson got into the action with a touchdown pass to Daniels in the second quarter, connecting on a 38-yard pass off a wheel route. The Vikings led 29-0 after the score.
Carlo’s touchdown pass was his only throw of the night, while Stephenson completed 3 of his 4 passes for 61 yards. Neither quarterback has thrown an interception this season.
Defensively, the shut out is Lowndes’ fifth in its last seven games — not including the Vikings’ 52-0 win in over Thomasville in this year’s preseason scrimmage.
The Vikings dominated the Hardaway offense, holding the Hawks to just season-low 58 yards on 43 plays (a 1.3-yard average) on the night. Of the Hawks’ 10 offensive possessions of the night, eight resulted in punts
“This is a team without any super stars,” McPherson said. “This is just a team.”
Lowndes dominated the entire game, especially the first half. The Vikings scored on six of their seven first half possessions to build a 43-0 lead at halftime. The Vikings racked up 328 first half.
“We were talking in the meeting room, I talked with the whole team and I was saying ‘last week, we underestimated the opponent,’” Burgman said. “We practiced hard and we just had to come out, play hard and have fun.”
Burgman opened the scoring with a 63-yard run just four plays into the game. Then Carlo connected with Moore on the 38-yard passing touchdown, which was followed by Burgman’s two-point play. Lowndes led 15-0 just over four minutes into the game.
On Lowndes’ third drive, Brown opened up with a 50-yard run to set up Daniels’ 7-yard touchdown run that gave the Vikings a 22-0 lead. Then, Stephenson connected with Daniels for their 38-yard passing touchdown to give Lowndes a 29-0 lead.
The Vikings scored on their next drive behind a 50-yard run by Brown, his fifth rushing touchdown of the year. After a fumble by Tevin Orr ended their next drive, the Vikings capped off the first half performance with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jordan Williams, which made the score 43-0. Williams’ touchdown run was set up by a 63-yard punt return by Tiquan Lang.
With a running clock in the entire second half, Lowndes scored on two of its three second half possessions. Burgman pounded the ball into the end zone on the Vikings’ first drive of the third quarter, closing out his night with a 5-yard TD run.
After another Hardaway punt, Arvin Berry found the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown run, capping Lowndes’ scoring on the night.
Lowndes opens region play next Friday with a visit to Colquitt County at Mack Tharpe Stadium in Moultrie. The Packers were idle Friday night and members of their coaching staff, including head coach Rush Propst, were seen sitting on the visitors’ side of Martin Stadium Friday night. The Packers beat the Vikings 34-7 last year.
“Last year, we didn’t really play too well,” Burgman said. “We just have to play hard this week and play hard every play...Each game we play we always use it as a game to win a championship.”