DACULA — It was Kyle Efford’s night from the start for Dacula football.
The junior running back picked up 33 yards and a touchdown on the opening possession, and that was just the beginning.
Efford had the first three scores of the game, finishing with 183 yards on 20 carries and four total scores as Dacula (4-2, 3-0 Region 8-AAAAAA) kept the good times rolling with a 50-14 rout over Habersham Central (3-4,1-2) on Homecoming at Barron Field.
The Falcons have won four consecutive contests after an 0-2 start, and sit on top of the region standings heading into their bye week.
“It has been a strange year,” Dacula head coach Clint Jenkins said. “You had no spring practice, you didn’t have the summer that we were used to, so we kind of came into this year and we really didn’t know how we would be. I feel like now we’re kind of coming into our stride a little bit.”
Outside of one long score from Habersham Central quarterback Joshua Pickett in each half, it was just Efford and company running up and down the field with the Raiders chasing shadows on defense.
Efford took the second play of Dacula’s second possession around the right side untouched for a 49-yard score, the most explosive of his many big runs. Pickett’s first score came from 73 yards out on the next possession to cut Dacula’s lead to 13-7, but all it did was set up another episode of the Efford show.
A 23-yard rush from Efford and a key 13-yard third down scramble from quarterback Blaine Jenkins moved the Falcons back into the red zone on their third possession, and Efford capped that off with his third TD run of the first quarter from two yards out to make it 20-7 Dacula.
“It all starts up front,” Efford said. “I’m a defensive guy really, and with (Kaleb) Edwards going down, I really felt like I had to step up on offense. But it’s a team win.”
Efford was the star of the night, but Jenkins took advantage of what became an increasingly stacked box as the game went on to turn in his best passing game of the season. The senior quarterback went 9-for-13 passing for 209 yards with a rushing score and a pair of TD passes.
His rushing score was much more straightforward than his counterpart’s long sprint, coming on a 1-yard sneak that made it 27-7 Dacula. The first passing TD was a beautiful 37-yard rainbow down the left sideline to Josh Umenyiora that came just 44 seconds after his defense picked up a safety by taking down a scrambling Pickett in the end zone.
Efford put a bow on his night early in the second half after Dacula’s Adam Watkins forced a fumble to set the Falcons up in plus territory. Dacula completed a 34-yard scoring drive on four plays, and all four plays were handoffs to the star of the night.
“It’s that way with Kyle every week,” Jenkins said. “He’s definitely a load, and then add what he does for defense, also. He has played both ways and been a big time contributor both ways. We’re glad Kyle’s on our team.”
Pickett's second trip to the end zone followed Efford's final one to bring the deficit back to within 30, but only temporarily. The final points of the night were scored with 5:17 left in the third quarter when Jenkins hit Makale McKenzie in the back of the end zone from 16 yards out.
Add it all up and you get Dacula’s highest scoring game of the season, a 50-point explosion on 484 total yards and an average of 6.7 yards per rushing attempt. It was a wire-to-wire domination, and one the Falcons will look to build off of in two weeks when they come out of their bye week with another home region game against Shiloh.
“We just have to take it a day at a time,” Jenkins said on sustaining the momentum. “We’re a day at a time program.”
If those days are anything like Friday night, the Falcons will be in great shape down the stretch.
DACULA 50, HABERSHAM CENTRAL 14
Habersham Central 7 0 7 0 — 14
Dacula 20 16 14 0 — 50
Dacula: Kyle Efford 19 rush (kick failed) 9:11
Dacula: Efford 49 rush (Nick Daniel kick) 6:25
Habersham Central: Joshua Pickett 73 rush (Sam Guest kick) 5:36
Dacula: Efford 2 rush (Daniel kick) 1:37
Dacula: Blaine Jenkins 1 rush (Daniel kick) 9:04
Dacula: Pickett sacked in end zone for safety 1:58
Dacula: Josh Umenyiora 37 pass from Jenkins (Daniel kick) 1:14
Dacula: Efford 1 rush (Daniel kick) 9:39
Habersham Central: Pickett 53 rush (Guest kick) 9:07
Dacula: Makale McKenzie 16 pass from Jenkins (Daniel kick) 5:17