Rakeem Myricks turns upfield against the North Atlanta defense. Myricks went down in the first quarter with an injury, but Sprayberry won 45-7.
ATLANTA — Behind three touchdown runs from Trey Sermon and another stout effort on defense, Sprayberry pounced all over North Atlanta, winning 45-7 at Grady Stadium.
The win was Sprayberry’s third straight lopsided victory over a 7AAAAA opponent — topping Woodland 58-0 in a Region 7AAAAA crossover and beating North Springs 44-6 in their subregion opener.
“We didn’t play very well in the first half tonight, but I loved the way we came out and jumped on them in the second half,” Sprayberry coach Billy Shackelford said. “We were focused and physical on offense and really flying to the ball on defense which is great to see.”
“We’ll need to be a little better getting off the bus down the road, but I am excited with the progress we are making as a team,” he continued.
Sprayberry took a 17-0 lead into halftime, but struggled at times on offense after running back Rakeem Myricks went down with a first quarter injury.
Their struggles wouldn’t carry over to the second half though. Andrew Pereira found Jontae Williams for a 58 yard touchdown pass to open the third quarter and Sermon scampered in from 18 and 2 yards out to give the Jackets a 38-0 lead heading to the fourth.
Sermon, just a sophomore, ran for 116 yards in the second half and totaled 122 for the game.
“He’s a kid with amazing potential and we told him at halftime that he would be the bellcow for the second half,” said Shackelford, who didn’t disclose the severity of Myricks’ injury. “When he runs with a sense of urgency and hits the second gear like he did in the second half, he’s a dog-gone good football player.”
Sprayberry opened the scoring on defense when a big hit in the backfield jarred the ball loose from a North Atlanta ball-carrier. An opportunistic Bryan Williams scooped the fumble in the backfield and sprinted 52 yards for a touchdown.
Myricks carried the ball eight times on Sprayberry’s opening drive of the game, tallying 56 yards before suffering an injury inside the 5 yard line. Sermon followed with a 2-yard plunge on the following play to give the Yellow Jackets a 14-0 lead.
Rodrigo Blankenship’s 42 yard field goal in the second quarter sent Sprayberry into halftime with a 17-0 lead.
Periera, who ran for a 6-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, finished the game 7 of 9 passing for 123 yards and a touchdown.
North Atlanta evaded a shutout when quarterback Jack Ballou connected with Dennis Pegues for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 4:05 to play in the game.