Gary's Last-Second Field
Goal Gives Tigers First-Ever Win Over Lincoln Co. Red Devils
Commerce picked up one more first down
than Lincoln County Friday night. A personal foul against Lincoln
County gave the Tigers yards that were not as vital as one more
shot at the game-wininng field goal in a 16-15 Tiger victory.
Commerce had overcome a 15-0 deficit in the fourth quarter to
trail 15-13. Down to one play remaining, Commerce coach Steve
Savage sent senior Casey Gary out to try a 47-yard field goal.
The kick did not go far enough, but the Red Devil rush went way
too far. Knocking Gary down after the kick, Lincoln County was
penalized for roughing the kicker.
From closer in, Gary got another chance.
Gary was a member of the Tiger team that lost at Rabun County
in 1998 when a missed extra-point attempt by former Tiger Daniel
Carder left Commerce with a 14-13 loss.
"When I went out there, I was thinking about Rabun County
and Daniel," Gary said. "I was thinking, 'Don't miss.'"
He did not miss.
The field goal gave Commerce its first win ever over the traditional
Class A power Red Devils. The two teams had met five previous
times, including meetings in each of the past two Class A playoffs.
The Red Devils put Commerce out in 1998 with a 47-23 win after
the Tigers' Monté Williams had broken his leg in the game
Though Williams returned in last year's Class A semifinal in
the Georgia Dome to run for nearly 200 yards, Lincoln County
beat the Tigers 35-21.
Commerce's win will not figure into the region standings, but
the win meant a lot to the players who have suffered through
recent Red Devil wins.
"This made up for everything," Williams said. "It
made up for every time they ever beat us. I think it means more
to the fans than it does to us."
Senior Twion Shealer said he was proud to be a part of the team
that broke the losing streak to Lincoln County.
"This is the best feeling in my whole life," Shealer
said. "This win means everything."
to Leopard defeat
Take away two turnovers and a blocked
punt and the Banks County Leopards' football game against East
Hall last Friday night would have turned out a lot differently.
Instead, the Vikings left Homer with a 38-18 win.
Banks County turned the ball over three times in the games. Two
of those turnovers led to 10 Viking points. A blocked punt run
back for a touchdown gave East Hall another seven points.
But the game wasn't without its highlights for the Leopards.
Senior quarterback Drew Gowder threw for two touchdowns and ran
for another one.
Gowder, along with backs Hank Jones and Chris Keyros, pushed
the ball 79 yards across the field on the Leopards' third possession
of the game for the team's first score. Gowder capped off the
13-play drive early in the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown
Banks County point-after attempt was blocked, tying the score
East Hall scored several possessions later to jump ahead of the
Leopards 14-6 just before halftime.
In the second half, Banks County's luck seemed to go awry.
The Leopards were forced to punt the ball after only six plays
on their first possession of the second half. The Vikings blocked
the punt and ran the ball back for a touchdown.
The point after gave East Hall a 21-6 lead.
Banks County responded, going 82 yards on eight plays. Gowder
capped off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mike Ivey.
The Leopards' point-after attempt failed, setting the score at
21-12 with just under three minutes left in the third quarter.
East Hall wasn't able to produce on their next possession and
punted the ball to Banks County.
After only three plays from scrimmage, the Vikings stripped the
ball from Gowder and took over on the Leopards' 30-yard line.
Six plays later, East Hall went into the end zone and secured
the point after to take a 28-12 lead.
The Leopards came right back to score, though.
On the first play from scrimmage, Gowder connected with Ivey
again, only this time for a 50-yard touchdown play. Banks County
couldn't produce on the point after, narrowing the gap to 28-18
with 8:51 left in the game.
East Hall responded with an eight-play touchdown drive of its
own. The point after gave the Vikings a commanding 35-18 lead.
An interception on Banks County's next possession led to a Viking
field goal. The field goal put East Hall up 38-18 with seconds
left on the clock.
Banks County took the next kickoff as time expired to end the
to top team in AAA
Jackson County will host Eastside (4-1/2-1)
Friday at Panther Stadium for homecoming. Kickoff is set for
Senior Anthony Collins and his Panther teammates had the Hart
County defense reeling early Friday night in Hartwell. Collins
returned the game's opening kick to the Bulldog 36 yard-line.
The Panthers drove to the Hart County 19 before an interception
at the eight ended the drive. The pickoff was returned all the
way to the opposite end zone, but the Bulldog thief was ruled
out of bounds at the Hart 45.
The Panther defense evidently came to Hartwell ready to play,
as they held the Bulldogs on their first two offensive plays
before tackle Brian Gower came up with a huge one-arm tackle
for a loss on third and short to force a punt.
On the 10th play of the ensuing drive, Panther quarterback Bradley
Wilson found Adam Doss for a 20-yard touchdown that gave Jackson
County a 6-0 lead over the state's top class AAA team with two
minutes left in the first quarter. The big play of the drive
was a 43-yard gain by Terriss Hale to the Hart County 31. Yewphang
Vanchiasong's PAT attempt was blocked.
The Bulldogs seemed surprised to be facing an early deficit,
and they fumbled the ball on the second play of their next drive,
giving Jackson County possession at the Hart County 31. Hale
moved the ball five yards on first down, but the gain was negated
and then turned into a loss by a holding penalty. The Panthers
managed to pick up 10 more yards after the penalty, but were
forced to punt from the 32.
Hart County finally turned on their game, breaking through to
block Collins' punt and return it to the Panther 39. A few short
plays later, the Bulldogs found the end zone on a big sweep play
for the final play of the first quarter.
Brandon Shields plowed through for a two-yard gain on third and
inches, but a penalty and a big hit on Hale by Hart County star
defensive end Carlos Bates forced a punt.
The Hart County offense had found its game from that point on.
Hale had another big gain in the second quarter and the Panther
defense held on third and inches early in the third.
Hart County was plagued by penalties throughout, including four
facemasks and three late hits, but still managed to control the
game. Though the teams put up virtually identical numbers in
total yardage in the first half, the same Hart County team that
struggled in the first quarter came alive to score seven times
and hand the Panthers their second region loss, 49-6.
"We had our opportunities," head coach Greg Lowe said.
"We didn't play as well later in the ball game as we would
have liked. The mismatch in overall speed shows itself the deeper
you get into a game. You can't feel good after being beaten 49-6,
but with the mood of the kids all the way back home, I really
felt like there is an emotional healing going on, and we needed
that. We're feeling more like family. I think the difference
in Hart County and Elbert County was that we came out with a
lot more heart than we did against Elbert."
Eastside comes into this week's game off a disappointing week
in which they suffered their first loss of the year, a 54-0 blowout
at the hands of Elbert County. Elbert defeated Jackson County
"They're a good football team," Lowe said of Eastside,
"but I think we've got some hope. I think they've had an
injury or two that have affected them.
Lowe also said that though everyone wants to win their homecoming
game, the season implications are more important.
"You surely like to win. I mean, they put that HC up there
for a reason, but in the long list of things, this game is a
region game, and would carry no less importance than any other
Jefferson downs Social Circle in OT
The Jefferson Dragons will travel to Oglethorpe County Friday
to face the Patriots of region 7-AA. Kickoff is scheduled for
The Dragons' Blake Gooch intercepted a Social Circle pass in
overtime last week to lift Jefferson to a 19-13 win, improving
their season record to 3-2.
Kyle Potts passed for 182 yards and two touchdowns on an 11-of-17
performance. Ryan Gurley was on the receiving end of both TD
passes, and was all over the field on defense, with 17 tackles
and an interception in the win.
"The play of our defense in overtime was big," head
coach Bob Gurley said of his team's win. "[Social Circle]
never really threatened us during overtime, but you're always
nervous of the fact that they could break out at any time."
The win breaks a string of two consecutive losses to end the
first half of Jefferson's regular season on a positive note.
"Coming off two losses, I thought the kids showed a great
deal of determination to come through the adversity we faced
in the game. We played with a lot of heart and enthusiasm and
determination. It's kind of hard to reach back and find that
after losing two in a row. We've had several big tests, but this
was a big one as far as trying to contain folks that have good
Potts hit Gurley from 40 yards out for the first of his two touchdown
throws with five minutes remaining in the first half, giving
Jefferson the lead at 7-0. The Redskins came back with a score
of their own to tie just before intermission on a 12-yard touchdown
pass with less than a minute to play.
Potts and Gurley got together for the second time with five minutes
left in the third, to put their team up 13-7 with a 12-yard score.
The point-after attempt failed.
A failed Social Circle PAT also kept the Redskins from claiming
the win in regulation. A seven-yard score in the fourth quarter
tied the game at 13.
The Dragons looked poised to take command early in overtime,
as they drove inside the Social Circle five-yard line before
Potts rushed into the end zone in the second half of the overtime
period to set the final score, and the interception by Gooch
ended the Redskins' final chance to mount a threat.
For the rest of this story, see this week's Jackson Herald.
Madison County tops Screaming
Devils 20-7, becomes first 6-0 team in school history
After coasting through the North Hall
and Jefferson contests without breaking a sweat, football reality
Friday night as it found itself in a slobber-knocker on the road.
But, as has been the case all season, the Raiders rose to the
occasion, putting away Warren County 20-7 in Warrington.
Aside from keeping their unbeaten record alive, the Raiders'
victory carried some historical significance. With the win, Madison
County has already clinched its first winning season since 1991.
Furthermore, the victory gave the Raiders the best start in school
history at 6-0.
Still, it wasn't as easy as the score might have indicated. The
Raiders led just 7-0 at intermission and then held a 14-7 edge
midway through the final quarter of play. The Raider running
attack, which had been averaging nearly 314 yards per game, didn't
run over the quick Screaming Devils squad, which suited up only
32 players, like previous opponents. While Madison County managed
a solid 239 yards on the ground, the Raiders averaged under five
yards per carry.
"Warren County had some great athletes," said Raider
head coach Tom Hybl. "We played flat. We've got a long way
Donny Stamper continued to lead the Raider tailback corps in
the win, tallying 137 yards on 32 carries, while finding the
end zone three times. The Warren County contest marked the fourth
consecutive time Stamper has gone over the century mark in rushing
yards and the fourth time this year that he has rushed for three
or more touchdowns in a game.
As in their five previous contests, the Raiders came out and
drew first blood, getting a touchdown with seven and a half minutes
left in the first quarter.
The touchdown was set up by a long kickoff return to the Screaming
Devil 47. Madison County then punched the ball in nine plays
later with a one-yard run by Stamper to take a 7-0 lead.
The offense sputtered the rest of the opening half.
Madison County had chances to put the Screaming Devils in a three-touchdown
hole, reaching the Warren County 14 on their third possession
and the Screaming Devil 26 on the next. However, penalties wiped
out any chances of padding the lead as Madison County turned
the ball over on downs on both drives.
Warren County attempted to tie the game at the close of the half,
driving to the Raider 13 with the aid of two Madison County penalties
and some timely scrambling by their quarterback. However, the
Screaming Devils came up empty-handed, missing a 30-yard field
goal with only three seconds left in the half.
The wheels on the Raider offense started turning on their first
possession of the second half.
Set up by a Jonathon Pou punt return to the Warren County 40,
the Raiders punched the ball into the end zone on nine plays,
getting a five-yard plunge up the middle from Stamper to cap
the drive off with 4:45 left in the third quarter, putting Madison
County up by two touchdowns.
The Screaming Devils quickly killed any Raider momentum, answering
the Madison County touchdown, returning the kickoff to the Raider
48, then scoring five plays later with a 12-yard touchdown strike
with 2:45 left in the third quarter, making the score 14-7.
Up by only a touchdown, the Raiders needed to kill time and add
points, which is exactly what they did.
Madison County put Warren County away on their next possession,
piecing together a marathon 17-play, 72-yard drive which ate
Stamper added his final touchdown of the game with 5:48 left
in the game, capping the drive off with a one-yard score.