Photo: Karl L. Moore Grayson defenders Jake Mueller (33), Jay Strickland (38), Jack Banda (82) and Robert Nkemdiche (1) tackle Wheeler running back Kahlem Looney (4) for a loss on fourth down during Friday night's game at Grayson.
LOGANVILLE -- David Fennell scored an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of the game and Wayne Gallman had three touchdowns in the first quarter as Grayson beat Wheeler 49-9 in the first round of the AAAAAA state playoffs.
The Rams (10-1) won a first-round game for the seventh straight year, moving onto the second round where they will face North Gwinnett.
"David took it 80 yards on the first play and the offense clicked from there," said Grayson head coach Mickey Conn.
Gallman scored the first of his three touchdowns from 47 yards out to make the score 14-0.
After Wheeler was forced to punt on its next drive, the Rams drove down the field again. David McTier rushed for 15 yards, fumbling the ball forward. Luckily for the Rams, Jordan Germany was able to pick up the fumble and gain another seven yards. Three plays later, Gallman scored from the 16-yard line to put the Rams up 21-0.
Wheeler (6-5) got its lone touchdown when Elijah Stayley found Emanuel Beal down the middle for 57 yards. The extra point was missed to leave the score at 21-6.
Gallman scored his third touchdown of the quarter on the Rams' next drive as McTier found him on a play-action pass for 52 yards to make the score 28-6. Aares McCall added a 29-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to put the Rams up 35-6 at halftime.
"Defensively, we played good, but I'd like to see us come out with a little more passion," Conn said.
The Rams came out hitting on all cylinders in the second half, scoring on their first drive. This time it was Germany on a 39-yard run to put the Rams up 42-6. From there, it was a running clock the rest of the way, with the Rams adding one more touchdown. This time it was from Asti White from 52-yards out.
Overall, the Rams had 402 yards on the ground with Fennell leading the way with 109. Gallman finished with 136 total yards, while McTier had 118 yards passing.
Wheeler was led by Beal with three receptions for 100 yards.
Conn commended Wheeler head coach Michael Collins for turning a program around that went 1-29 between 2008-10.
"Coach Collins has done a great job with that bunch over there," Conn said. "They struggled for a long time and he's put some good things together."