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FRIDAY'S PREP FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Early County makes case for playoffs with win vs. Fitzgerald

BLAKELY -- Early County put itself in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot Friday with a Region 1-AA victory against Fitzgerald, which was dominated by the Bobcats’ defense all night.

Early County didn’t allow an offensive touchdown in an 18-7 win, which improved the Bobcats to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the region.

Fitzgerald (5-3-1, 3-2) scored first on an interception return for a TD, and Early County got on the board in the second quarter on a 76-yard run from Tyrek Lyles.

Fitzgerald took a 7-6 lead into halftime, and the scoreboard stayed that way until 1:03 left in the game when Jatavis Lyles scored the go-ahead TD on a 2-yard rush. Seconds later on the next play from scrimmage, Early County’s Akil Teal hit Early County’s QB as he threw, and Jawanis Horn picked off the pass and ran it back 44 yards for a touchdown.

Early County finishes the season with games against Pelham and Cook, who are both 1-3 in the region.

BAINBRIDGE 28, NORTHSIDE-COLUMBUS 7: The Bearcats clinched a playoff berth with Friday’s win thanks to big nights from running back Aaron Calloway and quarterback Preston Norris.

Calloway gained a Southwest Georgia-best 218 yards and one TD on 30 carries, while Norris threw for two TDs and completed 10 of 14 passes for 133 yards and also ran for a TD. Catching TDs from Norris were Shuwon Gardner and Greg Cooper.

The Bearcats are now 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the region and can finish no worse than fourth in the Region 1-AAAAA standings.

CRISP ACADEMY 56, PRESBYTERIAN CHRISTIAN 14: The Wildcats (6-3, 2-1 GISA Region 3-A) rushed for 277 yards as a team to bowl over Presbyterian in a key region victory.

Hunter Chambers led the way with two TDs and 90 yards on the ground and a 70-yard interception return for a TD, while QB Jake Smith ran for score and threw a touchdown to Banks Folsom.

Also scoring rushing TDs for Crisp were James Wessell, Matt White and Matt Wright.

Crisp plays Robert Toombs next week in a game that will likely decide the region champion.

WESTWOOD 21, SGA 14: The Wildcats won another nail-biter, and this one lifted Westwood into sole possession of second place in GISA Region 3-AA.

Westwood (6-2-1, 3-1) scored on a JT Edore 6-yard rush with 13 seconds left to break a 14-14 tie and down SGA (5-4, 2-2).

Edore, a Herald Dynamite Dozen RB, finished with 133 yards and two TDs on 17 carries, while teammate Dylon Smith had 102 yards and one TD on 12 carries.

SGA was led by Stephen Jackson (14 carries, 62 yards, 1 TD) and Perry Bridges (11 carries, 44 yards, 1 TD).

MILLER COUNTY 42, STEWART COUNTY 0: All 25 Miller County players who dressed saw playing time in Friday’s rout of Stewart County, which has been shut out in three straight Region 1-A games and is 0-8 overall and 0-5 in the region.

Miller County (4-5, 3-2) has now won three of its last four games but sits behind Mitchell County and Seminole County in the Region 1-A rankings.

JJ George (8 carries, 90 yards), Darius Wiley (9 carries, 61 yards) and Rod Williams (5 carries, 66 yards) all rushed for one TD, while Jacobe Cooper rushed for a TD and scored on an 60-yard INT return.

Algin Merritt tossed a 12-yard TD to Antreyvous Benton, and the Miller County defense held Stewart County to minus-12 yards rushing on 20 carries.

SEMINOLE COUNTY 57, RANDOLPH-CLAY 21: It was the Javon Wiggins Show in Donalsonville, where the Seminole County running back finished with four rushing TDs (32, 30, 19 and 21 yards) and 147 yards and also threw a half-back pass for a 60-yard TD to Tyler Peters.

Brendan Kimble (14 carries, 79 yards) and Danny Rambo (6 carries, 37 yards) also scored rushing TDs for Herald No. 2 Seminole County, which improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in Region 1-A.

Randolph-Clay (3-5, 1-3) was led by Dynamite Dozen RB Cornelius Bennett, who had a 28-yard rushing TD and a 65-yard receiving TD from Caleb McFather. Dynamite Dozen selection Don Bolden also scored on a 58-yard interception return for the Red Devils and gained a team-high 60 yards on 11 carries.

PELHAM 40, BERRIEN 27: The Hornets snapped a four-game losing streak with a huge second-half comeback in Nashville.

Trailing 27-6 at one point, Pelham scored 34-unanswered points to escape with a win that turned somber in the final minutes when a Pelham fan fell out of the stands and needed emergency CPR.

The teams didn’t play the final two minutes of the game as paramedics rushed the fan to the hospital. At The Herald’s press time, Pelham coach Frankie Carroll was unsure of the condition of the individual.

“We are riding back now, and it feels like we lost,” Carroll said as he sat on the team bus late Friday. “That’s real-life stuff there. (Friday) we were reminded that football is a game.”

Desmond Parker and Darren Jackson each scored two rushing TDs to lead Pelham, which is now 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the region and plays again Friday at Early County.

PINEWOOD 24, DEERFIELD 21: For the second straight week, the Knights came up short in a nail-biter.

Pinewood scored on an 8-yard pass with five seconds remaining in the game to stun Deerfield.

Matthew Fox led Deerfield with two rushing TDs, while Steven Williams added another score.

The Knights, who led 21-8 at one point, are now 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the region.

SOUTHLAND 27, TIFTAREA 7: The Raiders rushed for 434 yards as a team to improve to 6-3 and 2-1 in the region.

Dustin Shattles and Allen Gleeson led the way for Southland. Shattles finished with 126 yards and two TDs on 16 carries and had two receptions for 47 yards, and Gleeson had 130 yards and one TD on 11 carries and had two receptions for 34 yards.

John Adkins also scored for the Raiders and finished with 59 yards on six carries.