MILLEDGEVILLE — In only their second home contest this season, Georgia Military College defended Davenport Field well with a big 44-16 victory over Arkansas Baptist College on Saturday.
Improving to 5-0 on the season, the Bulldogs jumped out to an early 39-10 lead at halftime and never looked back against a Buffalo squad that showed much potential in their first four ball games of the season.
“They’re off to the best start they’ve had in a number of years,” Bert Williams, head coach, said. “We were expecting a tough battle, and so we came out and executed real well in the first half there.”
GMC had a strong day defensively, with many of the Bulldogs’ defensive players getting some playing time in the contest on Saturday, which Williams admits, “I was happy to get them out there.”
Dezmin Reed led the team in total tackles against the Buffaloes with five, followed by Alonzo McGee and Jaden Le with four tackles and a fumble recovery each.
Also snagging four tackles in the contest was St. Pierre Anilus, who also had a tackle for loss as well.
Leading the Bulldogs up front was LeGrande Harley with two sacks, while Solomon Parker came away with the team’s only other sack and a forced fumble against Arkansas Baptist.
“It was very even across the board defensively,” Williams said. “Solomon Parker, he got a lot of play in the second half and did some good things to add to our depth in that position.”
Offensively, Jovon Robinson continued to show off his ability with 10 carries for 177 yards and four trips to the end zone on Saturday.
“It was another big game for Jovon,” Williams said. “Everything went well, and we were able to get out there and get a big lead and let our young guys get some reps.”
Pat Thomas and Emanuel Byrd tag-teamed the passing attack as the duo combined for 98 yards in the air, as Thomas went 3-for-6 for 61 yards and Byrd 4-for-9 for 37 yards.
GMC’s leading receiver on the day was Quentin Atkinson with three receptions for 36 yards in the contest.
Overall, the Bulldogs had a turnover on Saturday, marking a significant improvement from their last four games this season.
“We’ve been trying to focus on those things and we did do better there,” Williams said.
Saturday’s contest also saw action on special teams, as Stephen Houston returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and Taylor Payne had one return for 16 yards.
Donte Beckham had seven punt returns for 68 yards against the Buffaloes as well.
The Bulldogs’ kicker Brandon Rutherford also played well going 5-for-5 with extra points and knocking down two field goals in the contest, his longest being from 47 yards out.
“Brandon’s been a great asset of us,” Williams said. “On kick off he’s putting it in the right spot, and with field goals and extra points he’s been consistent with that.”
GMC now prepares for its next match-up with top-5 ranked Iowa Western Community College on Saturday at home.