Ga.-Fla. 'Border Wars' game ends in ... a tie?

Photo by Mike Phillips

Photo by Mike Phillips

MOULTRIE -- The opposing coaches in the third annual Border Wars All-Star Football Classic agreed not to play overtime at Tom White Field at Mack Tharpe Stadium on Saturday and Colquitt County's Rich Tyndall's 25-yard field goal with 43 seconds remaining left the game in a 16-16 tie.

The Georgia team, made up of players primarily from Southwest Georgia west of I-75, drove to the Florida 8-yard line with less than a minute to play, but a pair of passes thrown by Colquitt County quarterback Tyler Brown passes fell incomplete.

After Tyndall's kick tied the game, Georgia had one last chance to win, but a 61-yard field goal attempt by Thomasville's Antonio Pistelli fell short on the last play of the game.

"I thought our team competed well," said Colquitt County's Rush Propst, the head coach for the Georgia team. "I thought the level of play was pretty good. We missed several opportunities, but I thought it would be a close game."

Propst said the difference was the Georgia team's inability to stop Florida's designed quarterback run plays.

Mitchell County wide receiver Jesse Atkins, who caught three passes for 75 yards, including a 27-yard score from Brown in the fourth quarter, was Georgia's Offensive Player of the Game.

Both teams scored on their first possessions of the game, but were stymied the rest of the first half, as Georgia turned ball over on downs twice.

Georgia tied the game at 13-all with 12:22 left in the game on a touchdown pass from Brown to Atkins, who had three Florida players around him when he somehow came up with the ball and raced to the end zone.

The two teams swapped punts before Florida took over on its 8-yard line with just over 8 minutes remaining and drove to the Georgia 14.

But Colquitt County's Quan Daniels tackled Rickards High's Brian Clark for 5-yard loss on third down, forcing Godby's William Mueller to kick a 36-yard field goal with 4:23 remaining to put Florida up 16-13.

Brown and Dodson then engineered the final Georgia drive, which was highlighted by a 27-yard completion from Brown to Atkins to the Florida 23.

But Florida held and Tyndall knocked home the 25-yarder to get the tie.

Propst defended the decision not to play overtime, saying he coached in two other all-star games in Alabama in which players received significant injuries after regulation play.

"Is it worth it?" he asked. "I don't think so."

Florida quarterbacks Raleigh DeVore of Leon High and Casey Eddinger of Wakulla combined to carry the ball 20 times.

DeVore, who rushed for one touchdown and completed 10-of-14 passes for 131 yards and another score, was Florida's Offensive Player of the Game.

Linebacker Wesley Brandon of Taylor County High was Florida's Defensive Player of the Game.

The Florida team was made up of players from the Big Bend area.