BLAKELY -- Early County came within seconds of pulling off the biggest upset in Georgia on Friday night when the Bobcats gave No. 5 state-ranked powerhouse Fitzgerald a big scare before the Purple Hurricanes came back to beat Early, 20-14, in the final minute of the game.
Fitzgerald QB Kaleb Nobles hit tight end Kevin Coney with 17-yard TD pass with 22 seconds left, and then Tolerance Shephard ran for two-points.
"We're just a blink within being a great football team,'' Early County coach Trey Woolf said after the tough loss.
Early led for most of the night.
Bobcat quarterback Jacori Taylor connected with Scott Brown for a 46-yard TD pass with 7:19 left in the first quarter to give Early a 7-0 lead, and after Fitzgerald took a 12-7 lead at halftime, Early bounced right back.
Ladonis Bryant scored on a 14-yard run with 1:19 left in the third quarter to lift Early to a 14-12 lead. Taylor led Early all night. He rushed for 72 yards on 12 carries, and completed 6-of-19 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. Bryant caught five passes for 51 yards.
Fitzgerald leads the Region 1-AA race at 3-0, and is 6-1 for the season. Early fell to 0-2 in the region and is 2-4 overall.
BULLOCH 31, SHERWOOD 7: A depleted roster and three first-half turnovers doomed the Eagles on Friday night as they fell to 1-3 in the region and 1-5 overall.
"We laid a big egg," SCA coach Otis Covington said. "We've got kids hurt and we made too many mistakes. It's disappointing."
Chandler Tabb scored SCA's only TD from 48 yards out, while Vashon Gaines finished with four catches for 92 yards. Stars Mack Green and Brett Sheperd are still nursing injuries and were limited Friday.
Sherwood hosts Pinewood next week for homecoming.
"That's a game we gotta get," Covington said.
BAINBRIDGE 30, NORTHSIDE, COLUMBUS 7: Running backs Damian Bouie and Terry Lewis and quarterback Quincy Fortson combined for four touchdowns Friday night to lead Herald No. 3 Bainbridge to a 30-7 home victory against Northside-Columbus.
As a team, the Bearcats rushed for 308 total yards. Bouie had 26 carries for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Lewis had 16 carries for 60 yards and one touchdown and Fortson had 11 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown.
The Bearcats scored first with 4:13 left in the first quarter when Damian Bouie ran two yards for a touchdown to culminate a 10-play, 58-yard drive.
BHS safety Dontavious Baulkman recovered a Northside fumble at the BHS 49-yard-line with 3:07 left in the first.
BHS quarterback Quincy Fortson kept it himself for a touchdown with 59 seconds left in the first quarter to cap a six-play, 51-yard drive. The score was set up by Bouie, who rushed 32 yards to the one-yard line on the previous play.
Bouie ran two yards for a touchdown with 6:27 left in the second. The score was set up when Bouie rushed 44 yards to the Patriots' two.
B.J. Cheatem caused a fumble which the Bearcats recovered at the Patriots' 25 with a little under five minutes left in the first half. The Bearcats drove to the 15, where the ball was turned back over to the Patriots on downs.
BHS got the ball back one more time before the half ended. Rodney Glenn caught a 31-yard pass from Fortson at the Patriots' six with 57 seconds left. Daniel Provence kicked a 21-yard field goal with 2.7 seconds left in the first half to make it 24-0 at halftime.
In the second half, Lewis ran one yard for a touchdown to cap a 14-play, 54-yard drive. Provence's extra point attempt was wide left to end Bainbridge's scoring.
With the win, the Bearcats are now 5-1 overall and 3-1 in Region 1-AAAA. Next Saturday, they will travel back to Warner Robins to play Houston County High at 7 p.m.
NORTHSIDE, WARNER ROBINS 45, LEE COUNTY 7: Early in the first quarter, Lee County only trained, 14-7, to its nemesis from the north.
But that didn't last long.
The No. 2-state-ranked Eagles (6-0, 3-0) then exploded for 31 unanswered to remain unbeaten on the season, while Herald No. 2 Lee County fell to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in Region 1-AAAA.
Matt Mears' first-quarter TD pass to Josh Cabrera from nine yards out was all Lee County could muster on offense as the Trojans' defense was unable to slow down Keshun Hill, who caught three TD passes and returned one punt for a score in the rout.
Northside's defense frustrated the Lee County spread attack. Mears finished 12-of-22 for 113 yards and a touchdown.
JEFF DAVIS 27, CALHOUN COUNTY 12: After Jeff Davis went ahead, 14-12, on Calhoun County at halftime, the Cougars felt good about their chances.
But two second-half pick-sixes by QB Aaron Thornton doomed Calhoun, which fell to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in Region 1-A with the 27-12 loss. Martez Williams returned an interception for a TD and Vincent Powell scored Calhoun's other TD from 45 yards out. Calhoun hosts Miller next Friday.
DEERFIELD 51, PINEWOOD 21: One week after being served several slices of humble pie on their home field by the No. 1 Class A team in Florida, Deerfield responded in a big way Friday night with a 51-21 romp against Region 2-AAA foe Pinewood on the road.
Led by three TDs from Kh'Ron McClain -- one receiving, one rushing and one on special teams -- and two more from Herald Dynamite Dozen selection Quentin Heard (both rushing) the Knights bounced back, but more importantly moved to 4-2 overall and stayed a perfect 4-0 in Region 2-AAA play.
"Heck, we learned a lot from last week's loss, especially against such a good team like that," Deerfield coach Allen Lowe said. "It makes you better, and we came out (Friday night) and took care of business. We've just gotta take it week by week and focus on Trinity next."
The defending GISA Class AAA state champion Knights went ahead 38-7 at halftime and never looked back, using a running clock in the second half to end their night early.
Dallas Margeson opened the scoring in the first when he found Rich Fallaw from 45 yards out for a passing score, then Trey Puckett added the PAT. Heard then got going, scoring from one yard out with another PAT from Puckett to make it 14-0. That score was followed by a Matthew Fox blocked punt, which was returned 20 yards for McClain's first score and Puckett then nailed the PAT and later a 32-yard FG to make it 24-0.
But the Knights added two more scores before halftime: A McClain 10-yard TD pass from Margeson and a five-yard running score from McClain.
Heard then added a 48-yard TD scamper in the second half, and Fox -- a seldom-used sophomore -- galloped into the end zone from 50 yards out to cap the scoring.
SEMINOLE COUNTY 49, PELHAM 0: This one was all Indians as The Herald's No. 1 team led, 42-0, at halftime and used subs in the second half, improving to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in Region 1-A.
Seminole got big nights from its fearsome foursome: Herald Dynamite Dozen selection Chris Brown (six carries, 167 yards rushing, 3 TDs); Barren Rambo (two carries, 19 yards, 1 TD); Antwan Buggs (one pass, 77 yards, TD) and Dee Virgin (two carries, 86 yards, two TDs rushing, and one catch, 77 yards, 1 TD).
Pelham (3-4, 2-2) was limited to just 167 yards of total offense.
Herald Sports Editor Danny Aller, Bainbridge sports writers Brennan Leathers and Joe Crine and Macon Telegraph sports writer Joe Deighan all contributed to this report