PERRY -- Two successful trick plays, a hostile crowd and a high-powered Westfield offense wasn't enough for the Hornets on Friday as Deerfield headed north for a GISA Region 2-AAA showdown for all the marbles and walked away champs.
The Knights (8-2, 6-0) claimed their fourth straight region title Friday night with a 27-12 victory, thanks to two TDs from Herald Dynamite Dozen selection Quentin Heard, two long field goals from Trey Puckett and a game-sealing interception from Kh'Ron McClain, who returned it 50 yards late in the fourth quarter for a score that officially put this one out of reach.
"It's been a long time since we played four full quarters, but we did that (Friday night)," said DWS coach Allen Lowe, whose team will have homefield advantage for the first two rounds of the state playoffs, which begin in two weeks. "We've got Southland at home next week and then it's on to the postseason. It feels great. I'm happy for these kids."
Puckett put DWS ahead, 3-0, early with a 33-yard field goal, then Westfield went ahead, 6-3, on a double-pass play. But Heard got it going from there -- scoring twice, both from three yards out -- and Puckett added a 42-yard FG later to put the Knights ahead by eight points before McClain's big defensive play.
RANDOLPH-CLAY 15, CALHOUN COUNTY 12: The Red Devils, who came into Friday's 1-AA duel with the cougars having lost three in a row and five of their last six, saw their defense come up huge down the stretch to hold on the win thanks to a Maderius Brown interception with 54 seconds left to seal the win.
"It feels great to have a team full of sophomore and freshman and get four wins," said R-C coach Daniel McFather, whose team will close out the season next week at Herald No. 1 Seminole County. "We've got a lot to build on."
Namely sophomore running back Don Bolden, who came into Friday's game with 1,300 yards rushing and added to that total to go along with Randolph-Clay's only two touchdowns -- and two-point conversion.
Calhoun led at halftime, 12-6, but was stuffed by R-C's defense in the second half. Sherwood Williams (14 yards out) and Willie Brown (10 yards) scored the Cougars' only two TDs. Calhoun (3-6, 2-4) can still make the playoff race, but needs to beat Pelham in its finale and needs some help.
"It's another tough one for us, that's for sure," said John Williams, whose team lost a heartbreaker in overtime two weeks ago to Miller County. "We thought we were in position for this win, but it never happened."
TERRELL COUNTY, 34, STEWART COUNTY 14: The Greenwave won a big Region 1-A game on the road as they came back from adversity, although no final stats were available at press time.
"We responded to their challenges, but we lost the focus down the stretch and had to regain composure," Terrell County coach William Huff said.
With the win, the Greenwave improved to 3-3 overall in region play with a big season finale coming up next week at home against region No. 2 Mitchell County.
BETHESDA DAY 42, SHERWOOD 40: Going down to the wire, Sherwood was unable to close the gap on Bethesda.
"There were a lot of injuries and we lost depth. In the fourth quarter we were missing many key players," said SCA coach Otis Covington.
Rashad Davis stepped in to play QB in place of an injured Dalton Todd and he ran a key 60 yarder for a score and Mack Green scored on a 70-yard punt return to cut the deficit to 2 points, but with only 40 seconds remaining in the game, Bethesda ran out the clock to keep Sherwood to one win this season.
SGA 35, FLINT RIVER 28: After being down at halftime 28-20, the Warriors were able to bounce back and get the victory against Flint River Academy.
"It was big win after a slew of turnovers and losing close leads in the last two weeks", said coach David Bell.
Dillon Driver had a big night with one passing touchdown and also running for a score. SGA receiver Cam Whitaker was the recipient of Driver's pass of 37 yards and added an 83 yard kick return TD to open the game. Nathan Lingo and Will Warren rushed for over 100 yards each, with Lingo notching two scores. The Warriors now stand at (6-3, 2-2) and face Brookwood in Thomasville next week in a game that will decide their playoff fate.