ALPHARETTA — Gainesville was determined to redeem themselves after the Week 1 loss to Johns Creek, and they did.
Big Red started fast, played fast and executed in all phases of the game en route to a 44-0 blowout win over Chattahoochee (0-2) on the road Friday.
Coach Heath Webb was pleased with the performance as he joined the Hardy Chevrolet Scoreboard Show on WDUN after the game.
"We started fast and played fast," he said. "Our guys were motivated all week long. We had a great week of practice. They just had a different sense about them tonight. We did a lot of good things in all three phases."
The Red Elephants (1-1) scored on offense, on defense and on special teams, including a blocked punt for a safety (Tyvez Bledson), and a Dre Raven 51-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Gainesville led 30-0 as Mother Nature decided to strike again and push the game to a 30-minute lightning delay early in the second quarter. After the delay, Gainesville quickly put the game on ice before halftime, leading 44-0.
Naim Cheeks made his mark in the first half, crossing the goal line three times and finishing with 65 yards on five carries -- his longest run of the night was 40 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Baxter Wright tossed his first two touchdowns of the season -- a 32-yard pass to Malik Drinkard and a 47-yard pass to DJ Miller. He was 11-of-13 for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
"We put all those things together," Webb said. "We were able to run the ball well, throw the ball well, threw some long touchdowns and the screen game was good. Everything just clicked, and we were able to finish drives. I'm really proud of the way those guys operated."
Gainesville will welcome county-rival Flowery Branch to City Park on Friday. You can hear the game live on AM 550 WDUN.
"We're going to enjoy this one tonight. It's special to win a ball game," Webb said. So, we're going to enjoy it tonight and wake up in the morning humbled and hungry for Flowery branch. Looking forward to playing that ball game. It's always a fun one."