Late game heroics from senior quarterback Conyer Smith led Winder-Barrow (4-3, 1-3) to the win over Flowery Branch (2-5, 0-3) with under a minute remaining in the game.
The Bulldoggs were down 17-14 with over three minutes left in the game with the playoff implications looming in the background.
It took two fourth-down conversions, including a 36-yard completion from Smith to senior receiver Robert Hill and a second Smith completion to sophomore Camden Hodge for six yards, as well as two game-changing quarterback scrambles to come out on top.
After being flushed out of the pocket, Smith scrambled for 16 yards to set up first-and-goal with 27 seconds left in the game. He would scramble for a 4-yard touchdown using his feet only seconds later to put Winder-Barrow up 20-14.
Smith saw the blitz coming from the Flowery Branch defense, analyzed the situation calmly and made the best decision possible on his go-ahead score.
“I just had to make a play,” Smith said after the game. “I saw nobody was outside [of the blocks], so I just had to use my speed.”
Although Smith put the Bulldoggs ahead, the game wasn’t over.
The Falcons still had one final opportunity to score as they were only down three points after Winder-Barrow missed the extra point attempt on the touchdown.
Yet, the Bulldoggs were able to seal the win with a sack on the last snap by senior linebacker Ryan Ford.
“We only had 10 seconds left on the clock, and I knew they didn’t have a timeout,” Ford said. “So, there was a gap on the right side, and our other linebacker 14 (Tank Harris) actually hit his feet and made him stumble. “I just finished it off, and they didn’t have a timeout. It was amazing, just amazing.”
While it may not have been pretty, the Bulldoggs got the job done.
“It shows that we can go back and fight,” Smith said of the team’s resilience in tough games. “Even when we make mistakes, we can go back, just do what we do and still just not quit.”
Escaping narrowly, the Bulldoggs secured their first region win of the season.
“It’s a big one for us; it gives us momentum back,” Smith said.
In addition to a game-winning touchdown, Winder-Barrow’s defense was efficient in the win as well, especially in the first half. The Bulldoggs kept the Falcons scoreless in the first half and were even able to get on the board headed into the break with their defense.
Senior Tyreeck Hall got his second pick-six of the season, returning it 55 yards for Winder-Barrow’s opening score. He effectively read the play and jumped the route to secure the interception.
This wasn’t the only Winder-Barrow interception of the first half, as senior cornerback AJ Johnson got one in the end zone to close out the second quarter after Flowery Branch senior quarterback Brody Jordan overthrew his receiver.
This stifled the Falcons’ only offensive momentum of the second quarter as they were looking to even the score headed into half.
After another bye week this Friday, the Bulldoggs look to carry the momentum into their matchup with the Heritage Patriots Friday, Oct. 21.
Winder-Barrow's playoff hopes lie in the balance of each game going forward.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.