HAMPTON - The Lovejoy football team appeared in the state championship game a year ago. With performances like Friday, it looks like the Wildcats are poised to get one step further in 2012.
Travis Custis carried the ball just seven times, but scored touchdowns on four of the carries and the Lovejoy defense dominated in a 41-0 victory over Rockdale at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
Lovejoy, which won its fourth consecutive game, improved to 5-1 and 2-0 in Region 2-AAAAAA. Rockdale was trying to put together its first winning streak since the 2009 final four team won nine straight, but instead the Bulldogs were shut out for the third time and fell to 1-5 and 1-1 in league play.
While Custis, a top-60 prospect in the state of Georgia by rivals.com, was busy carrying the offense, the Wildcats’ defense (allowing an average of just 8.8 points coming in) held Rockdale to three first downs and 83 total yards.
In the first-ever meeting between the schools, the Wildcats wasted no time jumping on top with a three-play touchdown march on its first possession. Quarterback Alejandro Bennefield found JuMichael Ramos for a 24-yard completion to get into Rockdale territory, and two players later, Custis scored, un-touched from 16 yards for a 7-0 lead.
Custis made it 14-0 with another un-touched burst to the end zone, this time from 13 yards with 6:42 left in the opening quarter. The senior tailback struck twice more, exploding for a 46-yard touchdown with 7:40 left in the second, and five minutes later his shortest run, from four yards, made it 27-0.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs’ offense couldn’t get any space against bigger and faster Lovejoy. Zuri Minifield, who left with an injury early in the second, connected with Akwesi Mintah for completions of 54 and 18 yards, but there was only one other play that went for more than four yards as Rockdale had just 45 total yards in the opening half.
A four-yard touchdown run by Custis made it 27-0 and Bennefield hooked up with Jeff Murphy for a five-yard touchdown to make it a 34-0 game just before halftime.
Back up quarterback Khalil Rodgers got in on the fun as well, connecting with Terry Henderson for a 48-yard score that made it 41-0.
Rockdale returns to Reid Stadium next weekend to host Luella.