Banks County lost the battle of the blue in the Granite Bowl Friday, dropping the regular season finale to the Elbert County Blue Devils, 48-13.
Banks County moved the ball on the ground, tallying 191 total rushing yards on 31 carries on a chilly night in Elberton, but the Leopards put the ball on the ground several times and couldn’t contain the speedsters in the Blue Devil backfield, who ran for 335 yards and five touchdowns on 39 carries.
Elbert County pulled away early, grabbing a 21-0 lead after one quarter. The Blue Devils took their opening possession for a score, capped off by a 9-yard rushing touchdown. Less than a minute later, the home squad picked up a Banks County fumble and raced 40 yards for a touchdown. Elbert added another score in the first, but Banks County answered in the second quarter, driving 79 yards, with Roman Haynes carrying the ball in from three yards out with 4:47 to go before intermission to cut the lead to 21-7. The scoring drive included a 48-yard jaunt by Haynes, who led the Leopards with 73 yards rushing on seven carries.
Banks County attempted an onside kick after the score, but Elbert recovered the ball. The Blue Devils added a fourth score, a 7-yard touchdown pass, with just three seconds to go in the half to go to the locker room up 28-7.
Banks County started the second half at the Elbert County 46-yard line thanks to a personal-foul penalty on the Blue Devils at the end of the first half, and a good return by Haynes, but the Leopards couldn’t capitalize and were forced to punt. Elbert County quickly responded with a 74-yard touchdown run. The home squad added a 9-yard touchdown run moments later and closed out their scoring with a 62-yard run for a touchdown with 52 seconds left in the third quarter. Banks County blocked the point after attempt and Elbert County led 48-7.
Banks County added another touchdown with just 1:45 left in the game when Bowen Roberts hit a wide-open Erwin Durmic over the middle for a 48-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion failed.