Murphy Davis had an interception and Pope held Osborne to 68 yards of offense en route to a 21-0 victory Friday night in the Region 7AAAAA (B) opener for both teams.
“Our kids played real hard,” Pope coach Matt Kemper said. “I thought coach (Tom) Flugum and the defensive staff had a good scheme. We knew they were going to come out and try to run the football and our kids responded to that. They played physical and hard-nosed football.
“I thought our up front guys were active and mobile — Alexander Parker, Trevor Stevens and Curran McMahon,” Kemper said. “Murphy Davis had a great game at strong safety and our linebackers are our strength for us.”
Itabari Mason rushed for two touchdowns and Ronald Woods led the ground attack with 142 rushing yards for the Greyhounds (4-2, 1-0), who improved to 5-0 all-time in the series and extended their win streak to four games.
Just over a year ago when Pope played Osborne, the lights malfunctioned at Cardinal Field and the game had to be moved to South Cobb High School. After an hour-and-a-half delay, the Greyhounds survived with a 27-24 double-overtime victory at the neutral site.
In the rematch, Pope’s defense forced the Cardinals (1-5, 0-1) to punt on 10 of their 11 possessions, while allowing them into Greyhounds territory twice.
Davis made an easy interception against Kendall Walker during Osborne’s first possession of the second half.
Plagued most of the night by fumbles, Pope’s offense put the Greyhounds ahead for good with 4:21 left in the first quarter when Mason sprinted into the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown.
Halfway through the second quarter, Stephen Skruck put Pope comfortably ahead with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Logan Carr for a 14-0 advantage.
With 6:14 left in the third quarter, Mason’s
4-yard run made it a three-touchdown lead.
The margin of victory could’ve been larger for the Greyhounds but they lost two fumbles in the red zone and Skruck’s 51-yard completion to Ben Doran was negated due to a penalty.
“I was real pleased with the way our kids executed,” Kemper said. “Obviously, we need to clean some things up with those penalties and things like that. But a region game you take them anyway you can.”