Eastern Guilford dominated visiting Williams High School in a 41-7 victory to open Mid-Piedmont Conference football play Friday night.
The Wildcats (4-2) controlled the game on both sides of the ball, giving Williams more than it could handle.
“It really starts with our defense,” said Eastern Guilford coach Doug Robertson. “We really controlled the line of scrimmage up front on defense, I think that was the big difference in this game. We played assignment football on defense, and that’s what it takes to stop (Williams running back Shemar) Thompson.”
Williams’ lineup was plagued with injuries, as eight starters sat out Friday night’s game. The absences showed, especially on offense. The Bulldogs (2-4) had trouble moving the ball down the field, only racking up six first downs all game, with only one coming in the first half.
“Up front they dominated us, which was kind of my fear coming into the game,” said Williams coach Jim McGill. “That’s a heck of a football team. They’re big up front, they just outsized and out-pounded us.”
On the contrary, Eastern Guilford’s offense was in top form. The team combined for 280 rushing yards, led by 104 from Christian McMullen and 84 from quarterback Dominique Graves. Graves also threw for 73 yards, completing 10 of his 15 passes. He collected two touchdowns, one in the air and one on the ground.
McMullen scored two touchdowns himself, including an 18-yard carry right before halftime to make the score 31-0.
In the second quarter, Graves connected with Zaccheus Milton on a 32-yard pass for a touchdown. Milton caught three passes and led the team’s receiving corp with 43 total yards.
On the other side of the ball, Eastern Guilford played lock-down defense, holding Williams to 122 total yards. The Wildcats stuffed runs up the middle and forced quarterback Isaiah Coleman to complete only seven passes on 11 attempts. The Wildcats defense also intercepted a pass and forced a fumble on a turnover
Although Williams’ offense was stymied, some players had a chance to shine for the Bulldogs. Thompson had his work cut out form him against a tough Wildcats defense, but pounded for 33 rushing yards.
The Bulldogs' lone touchdown came with only 11 seconds left as Tre Garner took a 32-yard run into the end zone as part of a 56-yard performance on five carries.
Eastern Guilford kicker Collin Smith sent a 40-yard field goal through the uprights in the third quarter. Earlier, he sent a 55-yard attempt wide left right before halftime.