PREP FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Nail-biters become part of Westwood football


Ross Worsham


Frankie Carroll


Allen Lowe

CAMILLA — October has been a month Westwood football coach Ross Worsham may want to invest in some men’s hair color treatment.

In two of his team’s three victories this month, the Wildcats squeaked out late wins, including a thrilling 21-14 victory Friday night over Southwest Georgia Academy, which gave Westwood sole possession of second-place in the GISA Region 3-AA standings with just one game left in the regular season.

Three weeks ago, the Wildcats scored a 33-30 overtime victory over region foe Brookwood.

“My hair is going gray and turning loose at the same time because of it,” Worsham joked. “But a win is a win.”

The Wildcats trailed 7-0 at halftime in a mistake-filled first half on Friday.

“I felt like we could execute if we could just get rid of the mistakes,” Worsham said. “So we challenged them, and the kids responded.”

Westwood took the opening second-half kickoff and got a quick touchdown on a 7-yard scamper from Dylon Smith to tie. Then Smith forced a fumble deep inside Southwest Georgia territory, setting up a 17-yard run from Dynamite Dozen running back JT Edore.

“We had a little corner blitz on, and we hit the guy in the backfield,” Worsham said.

But SGA rallied to tie the game at 14 until late in the final quarter when the Wildcats drove deep into Warrior territory as the closing seconds ticked away. Going into overtime was in the back of Worsham’s mind.

“It looked like a possibility at one point,” he said. “We had a couple of timeouts and faced second-and-goal from the six. I thought that if we didn’t score on the sweep, then we could go for the field goal.”

Edore scored the game-winning touchdown on a 6-yard run.

Westwood closes out its regular-season by playing host to Terrell Academy this week. Southwest Georgia travels to Valdosta to face first-place Valwood.

PELHAM WIN TAKES BACK SEAT: Pelham coach Frankie Carroll had an opportunity to talk to his players Friday night about more than just football. The Hornets overcame a 27-6 deficit against Berrien and won a 40-27 Region 1-AA contest.

The win, however, was overshadowed by a fan who fell at the game. According to Carroll, a female fan suffered an aneurysm burst on the right side of her brain. The game was canceled with about two minutes left as paramedics attended to the lady.

Carroll said she was airlifted to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla., where doctors have done surgery to drain some of the blood.

“She’s still in really bad shape,” Carroll said on Saturday afternoon. “She’s never regained consciousness.”

Carroll, a devout Christian, had a chance to minister to his team afterward.

“It was a great opportunity to tell our kids that you don’t ever know,” he said. “She was literally dead. The paramedics did CPR on her, and they shocked her, getting a little bit of a pulse. I told our kids that you better have everything in order because you never know when it’s your time.

“We were riding back home and there wasn’t a sound. With us being down 27-6 and coming back to win, there wasn’t a peep from our players.”

The event overshadowed an excellent game from Desmond Parker, who tallied more than 170 yards rushing and had two rushing TDs.

“That was big win for us,” Carroll said. “Hopefully, our kids will believe in what they can do.”

BAD NIGHT FOR DWS: Deerfield-Windsor coach Allen Lowe said Friday night against Pinewood Christian was one of those games where “if it could go wrong, it did.”

The Knights lost their second straight GISA Region 1-AAA game when Pinewood scored the game-winning touchdown with less than two minutes to play.

“We had a chance to create some turnovers, but we didn’t capitalize,” Lowe said. “Things just didn’t go well. We had a chance to win the game but didn’t.”

Deerfield-Windsor (5-4, 1-2 Region 1-AAA) is currently tied with Tiftarea for the fourth and final playoff position. The Knights visit Chula this week for a crucial game before playing host to Southland in their regular-season finale on Nov. 8.

“We’ve just got to circle the wagons and get after it.” Lowe said. “Our goals are still out there … they’re still attainable. But we have to have a good week of practice.”

MITCHELL COUNTY DEFENSIVE: It wasn’t the kind of game Mitchell County coach Larry Cornelius was looking for. However, Friday night’s 20-2 victory over Calhoun County was one he said his Eagles needed.

“We’ve had several blowouts in our last three or four games, so it was good to have to play four quarters,” Cornelius said. “It wasn’t that we played badly. Calhoun County was ready to play and we were not.”

The Eagles recorded five interceptions in the game, including two from Troy Chester. McKinley West, Vernon Johnson and Tremel Emanuel had an interception each. Emanuel’s was a pick-six, which he returned 40 yards.

Anfernee Williams added a 65-yard kickoff return for a score, while also adding a 5-yard rushing touchdown to account for the Eagles’ scoring.

Mitchell (6-3, 5-0 Region 1-A) is open this week before its regular-season finale at Herald No. 2 Seminole County on Nov. 8, which will be for the region championship.

‘We’re looking forward to that,” Cornelius said.

BIG GAME FOR MONROE: After Monroe’s thrilling 24-21 come-from-behind region win over Crisp County Friday night at Hugh Mills Stadium, it doesn’t get any easier for the Tornadoes, who travel to meet Cairo in a battle for second-place this week.

The winner will take over second place in Region 1-AAAA and be in position to host a playoff game in the first round of the GHSA state playoffs, which begin on Nov. 15.

“This is where we want to be,” Monroe coach Charles Truitt said after the game. “But we’ve still got to get better.”

Monroe has won four straight after starting the season 1-3. It was the Tornadoes’ offense that stole the show in the fourth quarter. Down 21-12, quarterback Charles Stafford tossed two touchdown passes in the final 8:40.

His first, a 13-yarder to Tedo McGowan made it 21-18 with 6:49 left. Then his last one — a 5-yarder to Daryl Brown — gave Monroe the lead for good. Stafford, the reigning Herald Player of the Year, finished with 292 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 30 yards and scored on a 9-yard run. Brown finished with 13 catches for 144 yards and a score.

REGION 1-AAAAA PICTURE: Bainbridge earned its way into the postseason following Friday night’s 28-7 victory over Northside-Columbus. The Bearcats won’t know their seeding until after their regular-season finale at Lee County on Nov. 8.

As for Lee County, Friday’s 45-14 rout of Harris County put the Trojans in the postseason. They can earn the No. 2 seed in the region and host a home playoff game in the first round if they win out. The Trojans play host to Northside-Columbus this week.

EARLY GAINING MOMENTUM: Early’s victory over Fitzgerald put them in excellent position for the postseason. The Bobcats, currently in fourth place in Region 1-AA, trail Fitzgerald by a half-game. If Early County wins out, it could earn the No. 3 seed in Region 1-AA since it would own the tie-breaker over Fitzgerald by beating the Hurricanes head-to-head.

The Bobcats play their final two games on the road at Pelham and Cook.

THIS AND THAT: Miller County has won three of its last four and plays host to Seminole County this week in a key Region 1-A contest … Crisp Academy meets Roberts Toombs next Saturday in a game that will go a long way toward determining the Region 2-A playoff seedings. … A number of teams play their final regular-season games next week — Miller County, Sherwood Christian, Terrell Academy, Westwood, Crisp Academy and Southwest Georgia.