PREP FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Worth nearly stuns Cairo before losing in OT

CAIRO -- All Worth County coach Scotty Ward could do was shake his head and give his kids credit.

"It was kind of crazy,'' said Ward, who watched Worth County storm back against state-ranked Cairo on Friday night with one of the best comebacks of the season only to lose, 33-27, to the Syrupmakers in overtime.

The Rams erased a 27-7 deficit and drove 90 yards in the final three and a half minutes to knot the score at 27-27 on an 11-yard TD pass from Savon Farley to Kareem McDaniel with 26 seconds left to end the game into overtime.

"We came back, but we just couldn't win it,'' Ward said.

The Rams got the ball first in the overtime, and failed to get in the end zone, then missed a field goal to leave the door open for Cairo, which scored on a 1-yard run from QB Steven Bench to end it at 33-27.

"We came back,'' Ward said. "We didn't quit. That's all you can ask of your team. It's tough to go down to Cairo and win. We just hung around and hung around and then came back.

Worth trailed 27-7 when the Rams started the comeback. Ellis Anderson scored on a 1-yard run, and then Worth recovered an onside kick. The Rams completed the drive when Farley hit Lavontay Robinson with an 18-yard pass play. Worth and decided to kick deep. Worth held Cairo, but the Syrupmakers got off a great punt and buried Worth at its own 10 with a little less than four minutes to go.

"That's a dang-long way to go,'' Ward said. "But we ran the ball out to our 40 before we had to start throwing it. An then we go down and tie it.

"It was a physical game,'' he added. "They beat us up. We beat them up.''

MILLER COUNTY 18, CALHOUN COUNTY 12: Calhoun County coach John Williams saw it one way, but the refs saw it another.

And the end result Friday night was a heartbreaking 18-12 overtime loss to Miller County in a crucial Region 1-A game for both.

Calhoun trailed, 12-6, with less than two minutes to go when Markez Williams scored the tying touchdown from 10 yards out, and the Cougars went for two. But after converting the pass play to seemingly pull ahead, 14-12, a flag came out after the Calhoun receiver caught the ball, according to Williams.

The call? Illegal formation -- a penalty that normally draws a flag the second the ball is snapped, not after the play is over, Williams said.

"The flag goes up AFTER we catch the ball? Come on. That was not a good call. It was very questionable," Williams said. "I was very upset but what can you do?"

The teams went to overtime, where Calhoun -- which also a TD called back early in the game on a holding call -- went on offense first, but was stuffed by Miller's defense. Then, on the first play from scrimmage, Herald Dynamite Dozen selection T.T. Barber caught a 25-yard pass to win it from freshman QB Algin Merritt. Barber, who normally plays QB for the Pirates, had a sore shoulder and instead played receiver and running back most of the evening.

"T.T. came to me after we stuffed them and said, 'If you give it to me, I'll catch it and score,' " Miller coach Frank Killingsworth said. "And sure enough, he did. We needed that win."

Killingsworth didn't have much thought on the controversial penalty call on Calhoun on the two-point conversion, and actually said he thought the call was offensive interference on the Calhoun receiver, not an illegal formation penalty.

"I have no idea what happened there," said the Pirates coach. "I thought he pushed off and that was the call. That would make sense why the ref threw the flag (after the receiver came down with it in the end zone). But I didn't know it was an illegal formation penalty."

Willie Brown got Calhoun (3-4, 2-2) on the board early from 3 yards out, then Miller (2-5, 2-2) answered with two straight scores from Marvin Grant, who finished with 145 yards.

"It's a tough loss. There's nothing else I can say," Williams said.

SOUTHLAND 35, TERRELL ACADEMY 14: Southland, led by Clay Oxford's two rushing touchdowns, scored 28 unanswered points to defeat Terrell Academy Friday night, 35-14.

Terrell Academy (3-4) recovered a fumble midway through the second quarter that led to a Chris Rogers 26-yard touchdown pass to Josh Brunswick to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead.

Southland then scored four straight touchdowns and shut the Eagles out the rest of the game to improve to 4-4. Also with rushing touchdowns for Southland were Andrew Alexander, Jake Hood and Lawton Williams.

Josh Wardrip scored Terrell Academy's first touchdown on a 1-yard run.

SEMINOLE COUNTY 50, STEWART COUNTY 6: The Herald No. 1 Indians rolled to a 7-1 record Friday thanks to the usual cast: Chris Brown, Barren Rambo, Jakahri Martin, Dee Virgin and Antwan Buggs.

Brown carried the ball six times for 151 yards and three scores; Rambo rushed for 36 yards and one score; Martin rushed for 76 yards and a TD; and Virgin and Buggs each scored once.

Seminole (7-1, 5-0) now has a week off before taking on Miller County in the annual "Family Feud."

EARLY COUNTY 33, BERRIEN 10: The Bobcats improved to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in region after racing out a to a 33-0 halftime lead and never looking back.

Jacori Taylor passed for two TDs and ran for two more in the win, starting things off with a 16-yard strike to Brandon Carter before taking it in himself from 36 yards out. He added another 4-yard TD later, then Shavon Wiggins caught Taylor's second score. The scoring was capped by Jatavis Lyles' 13-yard TD run.

Early heads to face state-ranked Cook next week.

HARDAWAY 45, LEE COUNTY 43: The Herald No. 3 Trojans suffered a crushing loss Friday night to previously winless Hardaway.

With the Trojans leading by three and only eight seconds on the clock, the Hawks called timeout to set up the winning play. Quarterback Joseph Gibson took the snap a tossed a short pass to one receiver who took a few steps and flipped a lateral to Corey Lyles. Lyles streaked down the right sideline and headed for the end zone.

The Hardaway sideline went from dejection to jubilation in a span of 21 seconds. After squandering a 26-point second quarter lead, Hardaway saw the Trojans seize their first lead of the night on a late fourth-quarter drive.