LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — It took Holy Innocents’ roughly 87 seconds to find the Strong Rock end zone Friday night. And they kept on finding it, as the Bears rolled to a 40-0 win over the Patriots on the road. 

With the victory, HI remained perfect at 7-0 going into its bye week. They will face No. 6-ranked Trinity Christian Oct. 25 at Riverwood.

It was Bears running back Michael Cox who took care of the first four-play, 58-yard drive — and he did it in four carries. Gaining nine, 12, and 13 yards, he ended the quick march with a 20-yard TD to put HI up 7-0. 

After a Patriot punt, Cox this time covered all 70 yards, gaining nine yards before taking it 61 yards to the house to make it 14-0. A third HI drive stalled on the Strong Rock 1, but two plays into the Patriot possession, the Bears tackled the home team in the end zone on a sweep right to make it 16-0, a score that held after a quarter.

Coach Todd Winter’s bunch tacked on 17 more points in the next 12 minutes, starting with a 66-yard drive that ended with a Matt Davis to Landon Kardian 28-yard touchdown pass. After another Strong Rock punt, HI moved it 46 yards, ending again with a Cox score, this time from 20 yards out to make it 30-0.

HI would add three more before half as kicker Peter Wandtke — perfect on extra points for the year — made it 2-for-3 on field goals for the season as he connected on a 30-yarder as time expired.

The entire second half was running clock. On the Bears’ first possession, Marshall Nichols, inserted for the resting Davis, had a 20-yard run before Joe Hingson finished the two-play march with a 25-yard touchdown on an off-tackle run to end the scoring. 

Besides efficiently running the offense for two-plus quarters, Nichols also punted the Patriots down to the 10 and the 7 — one of his boots good for nearly 60 yards. Sam Aiken was the leading tackler, with William Willis also coming up big.

HI also had a second-half interception, coming from freshman Drew Bomar.

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