headed into Saturday's Corkey Classic with high hopes, finishing last season at a remarkable 10-2 and hungry to avenge against Cobb rival Lassiter.
But at the season's premier kickoff event at the Georgia Dome, the Indians never had the lead against Gwinnett County's Grayson, who last season , to claim the 5A state championship.
Updates provided by McEachern's Twitter feed show Grayson taking a 7-0 lead in the first. The Indians struck back with a 79-yard run from quarterback Ty Clemons to make it 7-6 after a missed two-point conversion.
Before the end of the quarter, the Rams would score once more, 14-6. Clemons again answered in the second with a touchdown pass to Chris Okeh, but McEachern again missed the two-point conversion, 14-12.
In the third, Grayson would hammer in another touchdown, followed by a field goal in the fourth, 24-12. Recovering a McEachern fumble with two minutes on the clock, the Rams took the ball home to make the final 31-12.
The final score was almost the exact opposite for McEachern's crosstown rival . The Hawks entered Friday's game at Westlake hot off over Walton, the team shut out by Grayson in the 2011 5A championship game.
Losing star running back Kenyan Drake to graduation, Hillgrove saw a new player emerge as the team's offensive engine. Recovered from an injury that benched him last season, quarterback Troy Thompson completed 18 of 25 passes for 281 yards, four touchdowns and an interception, the Marietta Daily Journal reports.
When the dust settled, the scoreboard read 31-15, Hillgrove.
But things didn't look good for the Hawks from the get-go. All their points were scored in the second half, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says.
“Going into the first game of the season, things are just blurry in that first half and our production wasn’t that great,” Thompson, a senior, told the MDJ. “But once we calmed down as an offense, our production went up, and it showed in the second half.
“My success is a testament to the line and backs and receivers for doing their jobs. I thought I could have done better, but it was great to be out there and get the first game out of the way.”
In other West Cobb action, lost in a scrimmage to Hiram, 17-14, on Aug. 17. The Hoyas will kick off the regular season at Woodstock on Friday.
See each team's full 2012 schedule: