It took awhile for McGavock to see a profit from its third downs, but it finally paid off in a 33-0 victory against visiting Hunters Lane on Friday night.
The Raiders started 1-of-5 on third down before finishing 10-of-17, including seven straight conversions in a second half that was delayed 72 minutes by lightning.
McGavock (7-1, 4-1 12-AAA) scored on three of its final four possessions of the first half to build a 13-0 lead against Hunters Lane (3-5, 2-3), and three of its first four second-half drives to push it to 33-0. On those six possessions, McGavock converted nine of 11 third downs.
“We told the line up front to give us an extra push, and we just made plays,” said McGavock quarterback Demontez Carlton, who converted five of the third downs, including a 19-yard touchdown run. “During the delay, we got our minds together and had to focus on what we really needed to do to get the ‘W.’ “
Ethan Evors’ first of two field goals opened the scoring when he hit from 32 yards to cap a 10-play, 47-yard drive that stalled after McGavock’s fourth failed third-down conversion attempt of the half.
McGavock flipped that two series later with an eight-play, 45-yard drive that included conversions on third and fourth downs, and a 15-yard personal foul on Hunters Lane to put McGavock with first-and-goal. Carlton made up the final eight yards for the first touchdown.
Hunters Lane running back Chance Holt (3) is brought down by McGavock linebacker Franklin Ekuaze (6) during the first quarter at McGavock High School on Friday.
Kyle Harrison stopped Hunters Lane’s next drive with an interception. He took it back 40 yards for the score, but it was called back for a McGavock chop block. Harrison helped make up 20 of those yards with a fourth-and-6 catch, and two plays later, Evors hit from 24 yards as the first half expired.
After the delay, McGavock’s Jalen Cooke collected McGavock’s second interception of Nick Turner, and six plays later, Franklin Ekuaze went in from the 6. Carlton added his second score with the 19-yard touchdown just before the third quarter concluded. Lamontez Brown scored from the 5 with 5:41 left in the fourth.
A scoreless first quarter featured 118 yards of offense combined but also 60 yards of penalties from the teams. They combined for 103 yards of penalties, two turnovers, and three turnovers on downs in the first half alone.