Terrell County QB Jerkerious Scott runs the ball against the Randolph-Clay defense in the first half of Friday night's game in Dawson. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DAWSON --This one felt like an elimination game.
With both Terrell County and Randolph-Clay in the middle of a six-team battle for three playoff spots, neither could afford another region loss. The Greenwave, who had two region losses coming in, played like their season was on the line in a 30-6 win against the Red Devils.
"Our backs were against the wall," said Terrell head coach William Huff, whose Greenwave will now have another must-win game next Friday at Pelham to keep hope alive.
Terrell (2-5, 2-2 Region 1-A) mashed its way back into the region playoff race with 318 rushing yards, using a mixture of fullback Basheer Rogers and quarterback Jerkerious Scott to survive another week.
Rogers, playing behind a young but improving offensive front, rolled up 138 rushing yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Rogers ran in a 3-yard score with 3:40 left in the second quarter to put the Greenwave ahead, 14-6.
"The line just blocked," Rogers said. "It's do or die now. We can't lose."
Scott scored three times for Terrell on runs of two, six and three yards. His 6-yard quarterback scramble with two seconds left before halftime broke the game open, putting the Greenwave up 22-6, including back-to-back two-point conversions on a Rogers' run and a Dekoven Ware reception after the first PAT was blocked.
The Red Devils (3-3, 1-2 Region 1-A) made their first drive of the night look easy after flying down the field on a 59-yard run from Cornelius Bennett that was capped off by Dontrevious Bolden's 1-yard plunge for a 6-0 lead after the point-after was blocked.
Bolden finished with 93 yards rushing on 21 carries, while Bennett had 97 yards on 10 rushes. Bolden went over the 1,000-yard mark this season, but was bottled up for the most part. Ten penalties for 75 yards, many coming in crucial situations, didn't help matters.
"We just made penalties and had two touchdowns called back," Randolph-Clay head coach Daniel McFather said. "That's been our story all year. Offensively, we stopped ourselves. If they hit you in the mouth and stop you, that's one thing. If you stop yourself, that's another thing."
Scott's 4-yard run in the third quarter was the only score of the second half. The Greenwave junior quarterback also hit on 7-of-13 passes for 57 yards. Jevanta Daniels caught six passes for 44 yards. The Red Devils, who ran for 132 yards in the first half, were limited to 55 yards in the second half.
Despite the loss, McFather believes his young team is still in the playoff race with another huge region game at home next week against Mitchell County.
"We might need a little help down the road, but we're still in the thick of things," he said.
After an 0-4 start to the season, Huff has seen his young offensive line, a question mark before the season, continue to grow. Demarkese Carter also ran for 70 yards on eight carries in the second half for Terrell County.
"They're getting better," Huff said. "We've got to give them some credit. We're a long way away, but we're getting better."