The Valdosta Daily Times
The Lowndes Vikings improved to 9-0 Friday night, dominating the Tift County Blue Devils 42-7 at Brodie Field in Tifton.
Up next: Top-ranked Camden County at Martin Stadium for the Region 1-6A championship.
“We hadn’t really studied Camden yet because of everybody else we’ve had to play,” Lowndes head coach Randy McPherson said. “But we will get in there and we will put together a game plan and they are coming to the Concrete Palace.”
Lowndes (9-0, 5-0 Region 1-6A) overcame the absence of All-State safety Tiquan Lang, who was out with a highly sprained ankle, and the early injury of running back Nick Burgman to score on five of its 11 offensive possessions and run away with the win.
Four different Viking players scored rushing touchdowns, while Alex Stephenson threw a 43-yard second quarter touchdown pass to Kenny Moore and Burgman returned a punt for a score before leaving the game to account for Lowndes’ scoring Friday night.
“Ahman Brown stepped up tonight and hard some good carries, and some of the younger backs did a good job,” McPherson said. “Cowboy (Jordan Williams) did a good job. We got running backs.”
Defensively, the Vikings held the Blue Devils to seven punts, three turnovers and just 105 total yards of offense on the night, sacking Tift County quarterbacks seven times.
Defensive tackle Sam Washington led the way with three sacks, four total tackles, a fumble force and a fumble recovery.
“When Nick went down that really just upset me,” said Washington, who tore his uniform in the win. “Nick is my boy. I’ve been playing with him since middle school. I just had to come out here and ball out for him and (Tiquan).”
When asked about Washington’s performance after the game, McPherson wasn’t surprised.
“I tell you, Sam played his heart out,” McPherson said. “He is a team player, too. Everybody on this team loves Sam Washington. He is one of those guys that comes ready to play.”
Kenny Moore had a third quarter interception that kept the Blue Devils (2-6, 0-5) out of the end zone to add to the defensive domination Friday night in Tifton.
“I am just trying to help my team,” Moore said. “We have two starters out that really produce for the team. We are trying to fill in for them.”
Lowndes opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 55-yard punt return by Burgman, who ran several yards backwards before turning up the field to outrun several Blue Devil defenders down the sideline.
After the teams swapped fumbles, Lowndes scored on its next three offensive possessions. Stephenson scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper to give Lowndes a 14-0 lead before connecting with Moore on the 43-yard TD pass early in the second quarter that put the Vikings in front 21-0.
On Lowndes’ following possession, Jordan Williams managed back-to-back runs to carry the Vikings down the field for a quick two-play, 51-yard drive capped off by his 31-yard TD run.
A 20-yard touchdown run by Tevin Brown closed out Lowndes’ first half scoring.
Tift County scored its only touchdown of the night after using a 75-yard kickoff return late in the second quarter to set up first-and-10 at the Lowndes 15. After four plays, Jeremy Daniels crashed into the end zone for a 3-yard TD run that cut Lowndes lead to 35-7 at halftime.
Lowndes’ only second half touchdown came in the third quarter when Ahman Brown scored on a 26-yard run up the middle. Brown blew over several Tift County defenders on the run, which capped off a 9-play, 99-yard drive for the Vikings.
The long offensive possession was set up by Moore’s interception at the Lowndes 1.
Lowndes finished with 316 yards of total offense, including 273 on the ground. Jordan Williams finished with a team-high 81 yards rushing on six carries; Tevin Brown finished with 80 yards rushing and Ahman Brown had 64 yards.
When asked about the injury to Burgman after the game, McPherson said the senior back suffered a hamstring injury and would likely return sometime this season.
“Nick has a (hurt) hamstring, Tiquan has a hurt ankle,” McPherson said. “I mean, it is pushing November, that is what happens…Those guys will be back, but you can’t worry about that this time of the year. You just have to play.”
The Vikings’ regular season finale against Camden County will be televised live on ESPNU. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. Friday night from Lowndes’ Martin Stadium