Jefferson made its first appearance in the Granite Bowl in 34 years Friday and probably wouldn't have minded waiting a little while longer given what transpired.
Elbert County (6-1, 4-0) ran for 350 yards in a 51-7 pounding of the Dragons (3-4, 1-3) in Elberton in Jefferson's most decisive loss in 10 years. See JHS-Elbert County photos.
Jefferson was held to just 177 yards and only eight passing in its worst defeat since being beaten 45-0 by Athens Academy Nov. 17, 2000.
Chris Jackson, who led the Dragons on the ground with 96 yards, scored Jefferson's lone touchdown in the third quarter on a 28-yard run, but the Dragons were behind 28-7 at that point.
Elbert County remains unbeaten in 8-AA South play and moves toward an Oct 29 showdown with North Oconee to decide the subregion title. Meanwhile, Jefferson will try to win-out in its last three games and salvage a winning season.
The Blue Devils took Jefferson out of the game very early Friday. Behind the running of its blistering fast and talented backs, Valdon Cooper and Tyshon Dye, Elbert County scored on its first three possessions of the game to go up 21-0. Cooper then took a sweep 56 yards to the end zone on the first play of the second half to give the Blue Devils a four-touchdown lead.
Elbert County added three more touchdowns -- including a 60-yard kickoff return -- and a safety to top the 50-point mark for the third time this year under new coach Sid Fritts.
Zach Allen led Jefferson defensively with 14 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. Cain Finch and Kyle Mosley both had eight tackles. Finch added 45 yards rushing.
Jefferson must shake off Friday's 44-point loss to get ready for next week's game with rival Jackson County. The schools, separated by only a few miles, are renewing the series after having not played since 1985. The Panthers (3-4, 1-3) were off this week.