MONROE — Monroe Area entered the season unranked, unheralded and under the radar, picked at best to finish runner up in its region.
But for the second straight week, the Hurricanes played over their heads — two classifications to be exact — and emerged victorious.
A week after trouncing arch-rival Loganville by three touchdowns, Monroe returned to the Purple Pit and routed local foe Walnut Grove 35-0, giving the Class AAA Hurricanes a pair of wins over Class AAAAA opponents.
It was Monroe’s fifth straight victory over the Warriors.
For the second week in a row, they were dominant on both sides of the ball. Junior running back Alan Jones led the attack with 10 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half.
Senior quarterback Selatian Straughter had another solid performance with a pair of scores, one rushing and one passing. He closed out his career against the Warriors with 573 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns.
Meanwhile, on defense, the Hurricanes held the Warriors to just 18 yards in the first half. The second half was played with a running clock as both head coaches emptied their benches.
After a one-hour storm delay, the game got off to a sloppy start with both quarterbacks throwing interceptions. But while the Warriors could never get moving, the Hurricanes rolled, scoring on four straight possessions and getting a special teams touchdown.
Sophomore safety Blake Raffield got things started for Monroe when he picked off Warriors quarterback Ashton Adams on the Walnut Grove 30. A penalty pushed the ball to the 15 and one play later, Straughter sprinted around the right end for his first score.
The Hurricanes defense forced a three-and-out and the offense drove 64 yards in 10 plays, culminated by a 7-yard run by Jones.
Monroe began its next drive at its own 37 to start the second quarter and went the distance in six plays, with Jones carrying four times for 52 yards and Straughter connecting with Jeremiah Anderson from 13 yards out for the score.
Walnut Grove picked up its initial first down on the ensuing possession but was forced to punt three plays later. Monroe’s Bernard Manga blocked the kick and Jakyri Jones picked it up at the 20 and rambled in for a touchdown.
The Hurricanes finished out the first half with a nifty run by Jones, who took the ball moving left, reversed his field and sprinted down the right sideline for a 36-yard TD run.
The Hurricanes improved to 2-0 and will travel to Madison Friday to face Morgan County for the 52nd renewal of the longtime rivalry. Walnut Grove fell to 0-2 and will return home to face cross-county foe Social Circle.