VELMA – Velma-Alma quarterbacks combined for 290 yards rushing and five touchdowns Friday as the Comets raced past Strother, 53-6, in the District B-4 opener for both schools.
Velma starter Tristian Wainscott ran for 119 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries. He played just 15 minutes before giving way to backup Mickey Griffith, who answered the call with a 171-yard performance on 19 attempts.
Griffith scored two touchdowns, including the game-ending jaunt with 10:02 remaining in the third quarter. That run gave the unbeaten Comets (6-0) their 45-point-rule victory in six games.
And while it’s the back end of the offense featuring Wainscott, Griffith and running back Lane Jones that draws all the attention, it’s the front of the unit – the offensive line – that sets the dominant tone.
Center Kaeden Abshire and guards Bryan Ely and Stetson Page paved the way for 402 yards rushing Friday. In the first quarter, Jones and Wainscott found wide open trails to travel behind Abshire on the Comets’ first four rushing TDs.
“We just love it,” Abshire said. “We love the running game. We’re always together and going 110% when we’re going on the ground. But the main thing is, we want to get out on them early. We want to hit them early, whether we are running or passing. As long as we hit them first, that’s what we want.”
So far this season, the Comets have hit everyone first – and they’ve hit everyone often. V-A has faced only two teams with losing records – Wilson and Strother – and won by combined scores of 95-12 in consecutive weeks. In those two games, Wainscott gained 334 yards and scored nine rushing touchdowns.
The least amount of points Velma-Alma has scored in a game this season was 42 – in a 36-point win over Wilson. And the Comets have played two teams with winning records and beat those teams by an average of 39 points. In all, the Comets’ six opponents are a combined 21-19, and the closest margin of victory on Velma-Alma’s slate has been 18 points.
“I was really happy with the way our offensive line played,” Velma-Alma head coach Randy Norton said Friday. “They’re finishing blocks. The kids are really enjoying playing football. They’re doing more than we are asking them to do.”
After stopping Strother on four plays on the opening drive, Velma-Alma set up on its own 47-yard line. Wainscott threw to Griffith, who starts at wide receiver, for a 29-yard gain on first down. Then, Jones took a handoff, slid behind the block of Abshire, and raced 24 yards to the end zone.
Wainscott added the two-point conversion run, and V-A led 8-0 with 9:41 left in the first quarter.
Four plays later, Strother quarterback Trenton Wolfe lost a fumble at the Comets’ 45. Wainscott ran for 16 yards on first down and then threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Henson. Wainscott added the run to give V-A a 16-0 advantage at the 7:10 mark.
Strother’s Ethan Davis answered with a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. But before the quarter was over, Wainscott followed the blocks of Abshire for a 7-yard TD run and a 50-yard scoring sprint to give the Comets a 32-6 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Wainscott capped the Comets’ first drive of the second quarter with a 28-yard touchdown run, and Romeo Folk kicked the extra-point to pad the lead to 39-6.
That’s when Wainscott exited for the night and Griffith took over signal-calling duties. On the Comets’ next series, Griffith carried five times in 11 plays, eventually capping the drive with a 20-yard scoring jaunt. Lineman Bryson Johnson, 5-foot-8, 230-pounds, ran the “Buffalo” play for the two-point conversation to give Velma-Alma a comfortable 47-8 lead at intermission.
Griffith’s 35-yard run on Velma-Alma’s first drive of the first quarter put the Comets ahead by more than 45 points and ended the game.
The Comets finished 4-of-5 for 75 yards and one touchdown in passing. That included one touchdown and no interceptions.
The Velma-Alma defense limited Strother to 182 yards of total offense.
The Comets will travel to Alex for another District B-4 game at 7 p.m. Thursday.