As he reflected on the performances turned in by Godby High’s stable of running backs Friday night, Cougars quarterback J.T. Bradwell could only shake his head and smile.
“There’s nothing really to say about them,” Bradwell said. “They’re just good.”
The Cougars were better than good in their season opener — they were virtually untouchable, racking up 292 rushing yards in a 63-7 win over Leon under a full moon at Gene Cox Stadium.
The victory is Godby’s second consecutive over the Lions, who had claimed the 2009 and 2010 meetings of the longtime series.
“I just never dreamed we’d have been in a running-clock game,” Godby coach Ronnie Cottrell said. “They’ve got a lot of talented guys, and the breaks kind of went our way.”
Thanks to double-digit rushing efforts from five running backs — as well as their quarterback — the Cougars made a few of their own breaks, too.
Senior Tim Longmire, who transferred from Leon in the offseason, led the way with three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) and gained 53 total yards.
Senior Khalid Thomas, who is verbally committed to Kentucky, contributed 75 yards on the ground. Junior Kenny Young added 43 yards and a score.
“We’re very fortunate at running back,” Cottrell said. “Khalid Thomas is a premier player, he’s very unselfish. Tim Longmire — very unselfish guy. Then those young backs who got in, they really ran good. I’m just very, very excited about the potential of this team.”
That potential could grow even higher after the performance of Bradwell, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior who, in his first career start, completed 83 percent (10-for-12) of his attempts for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
Bradwell connected with senior Earl Calloway for a 20-yard TD on Godby’s first offensive possession, then found Longmire for a 13-yard score that gave the Cougars a 42-0 lead just before halftime.
“Ever since my ninth grade year, I’ve been looking forward to this,” Bradwell said. “I was ready to show everybody that I could do it, finally.”
Meanwhile, the Cougars’ defense corralled Leon to the tune of 114 yards (74 passing, 40 rushing) and scored two touchdowns of their own — one on Jacob Pugh’s 16-yard fumble recovery in the second quarter, and another when Deon Singleton returned an interception 53 yards into the end zone to cap the scoring.
Leon (0-1) got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter when senior quarterback Sam Williams connected on a short pass with Travis Amey, who then scampered the rest of the way for a 76-yard touchdown. Williams finished 7-of-15, and Reggie Florence added 53 yards on the ground for the Lions, who entered the game missing two starters due to injury and then lost five more players during the course of the evening.
By the time it was over, Leon coach Bill Ragans was forced to plug in linebackers and cornerbacks at the running back position.
“We’ve got a decent ball club if everybody’s healthy. … We didn’t give up, we’re just banged up,” Ragans said. “Duct tape – taping us together, putting subs in on every special teams (package) because we’re so thin.
“It’s just a long, tough night.”
Godby plays next Friday at Choctawhatchee. Leon plays host to Maclay.