A late fourth quarter surge was not enough for the Banks County Leopard football team to overtake Fannin Friday night with the final score being 30-13.
The Banks County football faced Fannin County this past Friday night under the Leopard stadium lights. The first quarter proved to be a defensive battle between the Leopards and the Rebels, struggling to score.
A devastating injury to Roman Haynes on the second offensive series of the game happened on a 20-yard run by Haynes. Haynes suffered a broken tibia and fibula. Haynes was transported to receive medical attention with the quick action and leadership of athletic trainer Zoe Forrester and Banks County EMT.
With the game resumed, Banks County Andrew Shockley took a toss sweep off the left side for a 13-yard touchdown run, but a holding penalty erased the score and backed the Leopards up to the 20-yard line.
It wasn't until halfway through the second quarter, Fannin County had a 99 yard drive resulting in the game's first touchdown.
Fannin chose the onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, resulting in the Rebels getting the ball on Banks County's 45-yard line.
Four plays later, Fannin reached the end zone, and with the extra point, Fannin was up 14-0 with 4:59 left in the half.
Late in the second quarter, both teams struggled with turnovers, and the score at the end of the first half was Fannin County 14, Banks 0.
Coming out of halftime, Banks County kicked off to Fannin. Fannin started the drive on their own 38 yardline. The Rebels complete two runs for 21 yards. On the third play of the drive, Fannin had a 40-yard run resulting in a fumble that rolled into the end zone, leading to a Rebel touchdown.
After the point after attempt, Fannin led 21-0 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
The next series resulted in a punt in which Fannin scored on a 36 yard run after four plays, the score was then 28-0 at the end of the third quarter.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Leopards defense stops Fannin and forces them to punt, which gave Banks the ball at their own 2 yardline. Two plays later, Fannin got safety, and the score was 30-0.
During the fourth quarter, Banks County saw a momentum shift with several key defensive plays by Lukas Marlow, Ashton Camp, Cam Copper and Andrew Humphries. In addition, the Leopards forced a fumble recovered by Gavin Arrowood.
On the next offensive series, Clay Smith took over for Bowen Roberts at the quarterback position, and two plays later, Smith hits Aucy Jacobs on a 34-yard touchdown pass resulting in the Leopards' first score of the game.
Iram Lopez hit the point, which gave Banks 7 points on the scoreboard.
Banks had another solid defensive stand on Fannin's next offensive series, causing them to punt. Key players during the defensive stand were Robert Walker, Colin Caudell, Luke Johnson, Jackson Mitchell, Levi Johnson and Jacobs.
The Leopards took over on offense, and after 7 plays later, Smith completed another pass to Jacobs for 9 yards and a touchdown.
The final score was Fannin 30 and Banks 13.
The momentum took a drastic turn after the injury of Roman Haynes. Not only does Haynes dominate offensively and defensively on the field, but his leadership for his fellow players is also astronomical.
It was evident that the injury was felt beyond the field and into the stands. The student section showed tremendous support for Roman and his family by leading a prayer. The team also took time to kneel and say a prayer for Roman.
Amanda Haynes (Roman's mother) said, "He is doing good. We are hoping for Tuesday or Wednesday of next week to complete the next surgery. After that, he will have a 10-week recovery. The Banks County community is incredible, and we couldn't ask for a better community!"
Coach Reid stated that Haynes is a tremendous asset to the team, and his presence was missed on the field. Reid also noted that Haynes is not only a leader on the field; he is a player that others look up to.
The Leopards will face Haralson County in Tallapoosa away this Friday night, September 24.