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Worth cooks Crisp, punches ticket to postseason

Worth coach Scotty Ward

Worth coach Scotty Ward

SYLVESTER -- Boom ... boom ... boom.

They couldn't load the cannon fast enough Friday night at Milt Miller Field in Sylvester.

With each thunderous burst from just behind Worth County's end zone, the Rams moved closer to a Class AAA playoff berth.

Three Worth County touchdowns in a span of three minutes turned Friday night's game against Crisp County around, and the Rams rallied to a 28-7 victory, clinching a spot in the playoffs and ending Crisp County's season.

"We talked all week about if we take care of our business and do what we have to do, then everything will fall into place," Worth County coach Scotty Ward said. "I said (to the team), 'It really doesn't matter if we are third or fourth -- as long as we get in.' "

The victory gives Worth the fourth seed out of Region 1-AAA and a first-round playoff game at Peach County next Friday, while Crisp, which would have clinched the second seed with a victory, fell completely out of the race.

Crisp, Worth and Monroe all tied with 3-3 region records, and Monroe won the three-way tiebreak to clinch the No. 3 seed. However -- and this is as crazy as it gets -- if Crisp had scored just one fewer point Friday against Worth, then Worth would have won the three-way tiebreak and Crisp would have squeaked into the playoffs because of its head-to-head win against Monroe.

Confused yet?

The kids from Sylvester weren't as they were celebrating in the locker room after the victory.

"It's wild in there right now," said Worth running back Ellis Anderson, who had 169 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries as he stood outside of the Rams' locker room.

Junior Lavontae Robinson added: "It feels good. Coach said from day one to never give up, and we didn't."

Clinging to the game ball as his teammates were celebrating around him in the locker room, Worth County quarterback Savon Farley said his offense just started clicking in the second half after being shut out in the first two quarters and going into halftime down 7-0.

"This was shocking," said Farley, who started the game rocky but had a good second half to finish 6-for-16 passing for 80 yards. "In the first half, we didn't have anything. No momentum or nothing. Second half we just brought it out and gave it to them."

The Rams started off the second half with a 9-play, 55-yard drive that ended with an Anderson 10-yard rushing touchdown. And then the fun really started for Worth County.

On the ensuing kickoff, Rams sophomore Quantavious Sweney recovered a fumble, giving his team great field position.

"That got us hyped," said Sweney, who also rushed for 21 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 24 yards. "That fumble recovery really pumped us up."

The Rams' first play on their next possession was a 16-yard run from Anderson, setting up Sweney's 2-yard touchdown that gave Worth County a 14-7 lead. Then on Crisp County's first offensive play of the half, Cougar running back Keven Mygrant coughed up a fumble that was recovered by Rams senior DeAngelo Hicks, setting up another Anderson rushing touchdown from 25 yards out.

Worth County's defense wasn't done just yet, though. On the Cougars' first play of their next drive and just their second play of the half, Robinson intercepted a Trevor Shealy pass to give the ball right back to the Rams.

"You don't expect turnovers. But when you get them, you have to do something with them," Ward said.

The Rams held Crisp County to just 63 total yards in the second half, and many of those were picked up in the final four minutes of the game. As Robinson put it after the game, the Rams just "came out like a ball of fire in the second half."

And there was nothing Crisp County could do to cool them off.

Three touchdowns and three forced turnovers in three minutes was all Worth County needed to snatch the momentum away from a Crisp County team that had started region play 3-1 before losing their final two games -- Friday night's stunner and last week's 24-0 loss to Cairo.

"You can't turn the ball over like that. They crammed it down our throats in the second half," Crisp County coach Lee Campbell said. "I just feel bad for our seniors. Hats off to Worth. They came out and stuck it to us. You just have to finish, and that's what we are going to be preaching for next year."

With 4:27 left in the game, Robinson added one more rushing touchdown for good measure, sending the Rams soaring into the postseason.

"It's playoff time, baby," Robinson said with a smile. "Let's go!"