ALBANY -- It came down to one play -- an interception with two minutes left. That was the difference Friday night at Hugh Mills, where Dougherty dropped a heartbreaker to Crisp County, 28-26, in front of a huge homecoming crowd.
Crisp held Dougherty scoreless in the final quarter and Van Williams intercepted Trojan QB Justin Nelson's pass with two minutes left to seal the victory. Of course, Williams played hero all night for the Cougars as he also scored the go-ahead TD -- an 80-yard scamper -- with a minute left in the third after Dougherty had briefly taken the lead.
"We (once again) continue to make mistakes at crucial times," Dougherty coach Jesse Hicks said. "They didn't stop us the whole night, and then we go down there and throw a pick. That's been the story for us for the first part of the season."
Nelson had a big night, passing for a touchdown and rushing for two more, but it wasn't enough.
"You can't be mad at (Nelson). He had a hell of a game," Hicks said.
The loss drops Dougherty's record to 2-4 and 0-2 in the Region 1-AAA race with four games remaining.
Dougherty had a slow start in this game, with a fumble on the opening kickoff return, which gave Crisp the ball deep in Trojan territory and set up for a 27-yard touchdown pass from Treavor Shealy to Johntavious Cater for a 7-0 lead.
The Trojans took over on offense, then had a tough time moving the ball and were forced to punt, but a roughing the kicker penalty against Crisp kept the drive alive, giving Nelson a chance to hook up with Amaud Ross for a 41-yard touchdown that tied things at 7-7.
Shealy answered for Crisp with his second touchdown pass of the game, a deep pass that was corralled by D.J. Jackson, which put the Cougars back on top, 14-7.
In the second quarter, Dougherty tied it at 14-14 with quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line by Nelson, which capped off a drive that started deep on the Trojans' side of the field.
After its defense finally forced Crisp to punt the ball, Dougherty's offense capitalized with a drive that was capped by an 11-yard run by Ra'shon Soloman. The Trojans missed the PAT, which made it just a six-point lead, 20-14.
On the Cougars' ensuing possession, they drove inside the Dougherty 10-yard line with a chance to score seconds before halftime, but an interception by Robert Gilford ended any chance of that.
Crisp took the lead midway in the third quarter when Williams rushed for a TD, and the Cougars kicked the PAT to go ahead, 21-20.
Dougherty got the ball into the red zone on its next possession but was held on downs. On Crisp's ensuing possession, Shealy tried to go for the jugular on the first play with a deep pass, but Gilford was there to wrestle it away from the receiver for his second interception of the game.
Dougherty would take the lead again with a 7-yard TD run by Nelson, but the two-point conversion failed, leaving things at 26-21.
Williams and Crisp then grabbed the lead right back with that 80-yard TD run that gave the Cougars a 28-26 advantage -- and they never looked back.