AVONDALE — Nursing several injuries, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy took a conservative game plan into their homecoming game with Highland Tech on Friday. Nomi McMullens threw for two touchdown passes to Matthew Barnhart and ran for another while the Gryphon bench played most of the second half with a running clock in the 68-12 win.

Star of the game

The Gryphons, a spread team, were without their top three receivers due to injury and Barnhart stepped up with touchdown receptions of 54 and 18 yards in the first quarter. For the Rams, Caleb Hill scored on a 1-yard sneak and Drew Bruton had a 75-yard kickoff return.

Turning point

After an early Gryphon score, Highland Tech went three-and-out, the snap on the ensuing punt attempt went over the kicker’s head and TJCA’s Cody Maxwell scored on the next play for a 13-0 Gryphon lead and they never looked back.

Notable

TJCA is now 18-1 in their last 19 regular season games. Highland Tech has yet to beat the Gryphons in six meetings.

Up next

Highland Tech (3-4) will look to snap a four-game skid as they host Cherryville while TJCA looks to remain perfect, hosting Bessemer City.