ATLANTA - It definitely wasn’t the idea situation for Douglas County as it faced No. 3 Mays on Friday night in a key Region 5-AAAAAA contest.
The seventh-ranked Tigers had two of its best players in street cloths on the sidelines at Lakewood Stadium.
It was tough task trying to defeat the defending region champions at full strength, but minus standout running back Uriah West and linebacker Xavier Hopson was nearly impossible.
And it showed as Mays won 35-3 to extend its region winning streak to 22 games.
“We are beat up,” Douglas County coach Johnny White said. “They punched us in the mouth and we didn’t respond. We were asking some young guys to step up. Xaiver does so much for us and we couldn’t replace him.”
Playing against a tall and potent passing attack, Douglas County countered with a pair of freshmen - Jaylan Harris and Justin Franklin - at the corners. Franklin is the team’s third string quarterback.
“I think having them out their will definitely help our program in the long run,” White said. “We definitely missed Hopson in there at linebacker.”
It was the Tigers first loss of the season as they dropped to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the region. Mays improved to 5-1 and 4-0 as it is tied with Alexander for first in the region.
“There is still a lot of football to be played,” Tigers defensive coordinator Shawn Austin said. “We are six and one right now and we would need some help to win the region. We just need to focus on winning the rest of our games.”
Up next is an improved Tri-Cities team that gave Alexander all it could handle before falling 28-21 in the final two minutes of the game.
The Tigers offense stalled against a physical Mays defense, that was second in Class AAAAAA in points allowed.
Douglas County couldn’t get any push from its offensive line during the entire contest as the Raiders stacked the box. The Tigers only mustered 139 yards of offense.
Senior Deon Rainey, who was coming an ankle injury sustained during last week’s practice, had 30 rushing yards and 33 receiving yards.
However, Mays lived off the big plays.
Mays returner Jamarcus McCoy had a 75-yard punt return to give the Raiders 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Douglas County came up empty in two red zone appearances and the only score it could muster was a 39-yard field goal from sophomore Diego Huerta to cut the lead to 7-3 with 4:04 remaining in the second quarter.
From there, it was all Mays.
“They are a good team but we were motivated for the game,” Raiders linebacker Antonio Grier Jr. said. “We were pumped up.”
Mays talented receiver Amir Abdul-Rahman had three touchdown receptions on the night. He had scoring receptions of 39, 35 and 44 yards.
“The big plays is what hurt us,” Austin said.