Traveling to East Paulding on Friday night, the Lithia Springs Lions looked to bring home a non-region win and give the Raiders a Homecoming upset, but Lithia just could not keep up with the speed of senior running back Tae Ray and the Raider offense.
Unable to gain any ground, the Lions fell 57-0 to East Paulding.
"We just didn't play well and after practicing this week, there was a lot I thought we could do", said Lithia head coach Craig Chatman. "They (East Paulding) just stopped us. They just wore us out up front on both sides of the ball."
Taking advantage of their speed on the ground behind Ray, the Raiders went up to an early 7-0 lead with less than four minutes off the clock. Lithia tried to recoup on their following drive, but after quarterback Jadon Walker was intercepted, the Raiders found themselves in prime scoring position yet again.
After another drive led by Ray, the Raiders picked up a touchdown from the running back on a one-yard run with 5:22 on the clock.
East Paulding was up 14-0 going into the second quarter.
The Raiders threatened as the clock hit 11:05, but after a defensive stop led by Lithia's Anthony Oscar, they were forced to settle for a field goal. After sailing the kick through the up-rights, Caleb Grant extend the Raider lead to 17-0.
Unable to convert on their next attempt, Lithia put the ball back into the hands of the Raiders. Unable to stop a charging Ray, East Paulding was able to drive to inside the five. Then, with 6:19 to go in the second, Ray burst through for a three-yard run and an East Paulding score. The Raiders were up 24-0.
As time wound closer to the half, the Raiders found time to punch in another TD from Cody Long. Although the point after was missed, East Paulding was still up 30-0 with 2:12 remaining.
The second half started off with another strong drive led by a dynamic ground game from the Raider's Ray. Pushing to the 19, an encroachment call against Lithia put the ball on the seven for East Paulding. After a hand-off to Ray and a run up the middle, the Raiders went up 37-0 with 4:15 to go.
Finally gaining positive yardage and pushing to midfield, a personal foul call against the Lions put them third-and-long at the 44-yard line and unable to convert. More problems followed, as the Raiders came up with a blocked punt and a returning score from Holden Thompson to put East Paulding up by 44.
As time expired into the fourth, the Raiders took advantage of their field position off of a fumble recovery. Not able to stop East Paulding's pace, this time it was Jalen Browder who found the end zone as the Raider's put 50 on the board.
Although the Lions fought for positive ground late, the Raiders forced another fumble to take control at the 19. Finding a shot up the middle, the Raider's Kody Brown broke through the Lithia defense to bring in the final score of the night. The Raiders would hold for a 57-0 victory.