MOULTRIE — It might have been a bit of a letdown following the win over nationally ranked Marietta the week before, but Grayson found itself struggling and trailing at halftime of its game with Westlake last Friday night.
The Rams, 4-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class 7A, will first come to Moultrie on Friday to play 3-1 Colquitt County.
Kickoff is schedule at 8 p.m. on Tom White Field at Mack Tharpe Stadium.
And the Grayson’s perfect record attests to its ability to turn around last Friday game in the third quarter.
Grayson defeated Marietta 28-14 the week before in what was a mild upset.
Then against the Lions, the Rams managed just 97 passing yards and 30 more on the ground in the first two quarters and found themselves trailing 14-7.
But Grayson scored three touchdowns in the third quarter and came away with a 35-21 victory.
Much of the impetus for the strong second-half showing came from the 192 yards the Rams gained on the ground.
Leading the Grayson ground game was junior Lafayette Gurvin, a 5-foot-11, 205-pounder who carried 25 times in the game and gained 201 yards.
He also caught four passes and scored three touchdowns.
Senior quarterback C.J. Dixon triggers the Grayson attack and he has completed 57-of-103 passes for 849 yards aND eight touchdowns.
The Illinois-commit has been intercepted four times.
Gurvin has rushed for 539 yards on 85 carries in the Rams wins over James Clements of Alabama, Tucker, Marietta and Westlake.
He’s found the end zone eight times.
The leading receiver is Jamal Haynes, who has 18 catches for 289 yards and three scores.
Haynes caught six passes for 67 yards and a touchdown against Westlake.
Gurvin also has caught 12 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
The Rams have two other receivers - Darius Daniel and Jaden Smith - with 11 receptions each.
The leading tackler for the Rams against Westlake was senior middle linebacker Logan Daniels, who had 10 tackles, including a sack.
Defensive end Noah Collins and Marbu Neal each had six tackles.
Jaidyn Hicks had two sacks.
Junior safety Jibrahn Claude had two interceptions in the victory over Marietta.
If keeping their undefeated season alive is not incentive enough for the Rams on Friday, the knowledge of its 26-14 loss to the Packers last year in Loganville just might.
Grayson had just scored to go up 14-3 with under two minutes left in the half when Colquitt’s Montavious Ponder returned the next kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.
The momentum from the late score carried over through the second half when the Packers outscored the Rams 16-0.
The trip to Moultrie will be the first for Grayson since the 2016 quarterfinals when the Rams won 49-21 on their way to the state championship under coach Jeff Herron.
That tied the all-time series between the two schools at 2-2 and the Packers gained an advantage last year.
The first two meetings between Colquitt and Grayson came in the 2010 and 2011 state semifinals.
Both games were played on Grayson’s grass field.
The Packers won in 2010 and advanced to meet Brookwood in the finals.
Grayson returned the favor the next year and went on to defeat Walton and claim the school’s first state championship.
In 2013, the two teams met in the Corky Kell Classic, with the Packers coming out on top 21-6.
Mickey Conn was coaching Grayson in the first three meetings between the two schools.
After Herron left, Christian Hunnicutt took over the program and led the Rams against the Packers last year.
Hunnicutt left following last season after posting a 20-5 record in two seasons.
Adam Carter was named in February to replace Hunnicutt, who has since taken over the Villa Rica program.
Carter coached at Creekside last year and did a remarkable job, leading the Grizzlies to a 12-1 record that included the program’s first region championship, first undefeated regular season and first state playoff victory.
Carter has been an assistant under Herron and also served as the defensive coordinator at Valdosta.