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The Banks County High School football team’s season came to an end Friday night in Lindale as the Pepperell Dragons defeated the Leopards 57-0 in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs.
The Leopards (5-6) amassed only 96 yards of total offense in the loss. Running back Terrance Walker rushed for 49 yards on 16 carries to lead the team in total yardage.
Trevor Thomas got his first start at quarterback since coming back from injury. He completed one pass for 42 yards. Thomas’ pass connected with Max Sanders.
Mason Thomas played the second half under center and completed two passes for 20 yards. Both completions went to Blake Segars.
“Our kids fought hard,” head coach Josh Shoemaker said after the game. “We just played a really, really good football team…a really good football team.
“I’m proud of our kids. They fought hard. It didn’t end up like we wanted it to, but I was extremely proud for the way they (played). I was extremely proud of our seniors who gave us four great years and a lot of great effort. It was a tough year, but again, we got in (the playoffs). We played OK. It was a tough draw on the road. I mean it really was.”
The Dragons’ offense compiled 535 yards against the Leopards’ defense in the win. The Dragons’ Trevor Thomas totaled three touchdowns from his quarterback spot. Running back Tae Hammond also scored three touchdowns.
The Dragons’ offense failed to score touchdowns on only two possessions: a missed field goal and the final drive to end the game.
“They’re really good,” Shoemaker said of Pepperell. “They out-athlete us in some spots that we really didn’t have an answer for.”
The Dragons’ offense came out of the gate fast as on the team’s first possession, the offense needed two plays to cover 53 yards and find the end zone (Thomas to Hammond for 45 yards) and a 7-0 lead with 8:57 left in the opening quarter.
The Dragons’ second drive lasted 10 plays. It ended with a Hammond six-yard touchdown run with 2:30 left in the first quarter. The lead was 14-0.
Two possessions, and a missed field goal later, the Dragons started from their own 10-yard line. Ten plays later, the offense had its third touchdown of the game as Thomas found the end zone on a quarterback draw from 27 yards away. After a successful two-point conversion, the lead was 22-0 with 4:04 left in the second quarter.
The Dragons squeezed its fourth touchdown in before halftime, traveling 59 yards in six plays. Thomas scored on a 5-yard run to bump the lead to 29-0.
Pepperell continued the stellar play to open the second half as Hammond scored his third touchdown on a 32-yard run just over a minute into third quarter. The lead was 36-0.
On the next drive, the Dragons kept their foot on the gas and found the end zone for a sixth time when Darien Pasley scored from 19 yards out to move the lead to 43-0.
The Dragons’ final two scores came from Pasley (19-yard run) and Gage Moses (5-yard run).