Deerfield senior running back Matthew Fox
MACON --- In a game that was up for grabs until Matthew Fox scored on a 32-yard touchdown run in the final 30 seconds, Deerfield-Windsor defeated Stratford 28-21 on Friday at Stratford.
Deerfield-Windsor improved to 3-1, benefitting from Fox’s 218-yard, four-touchdown rushing night, while Stratford (2-1) suffered its first loss since the return of head coach Mark Farriba during the offseason.
“It was just a great football game,” Deerfield-Windsor head coach Allen Lowe said. “We were just blessed to win it.”
Both teams fought to take control during the fourth quarter. On the second play of the quarter, Stratford quarterback John Mitchell scored on a 26-yard keeper to tie the game at 21.
Late in the game, the teams traded punts that set up Deerfield-Windsor’s game-winning score. With little more than three minutes remaining in the game and Deerfield-Windsor driving, Stratford’s defense forced the Knights to punt. Stratford went three-and-out at its own 20, and the Knights took over at the Eagles’ 40.
Deerfield-Windsor picked up 8 yards on the first three plays following the punt. But, on fourth-and-2, Scott broke free for his scoring run.
Stratford took control early on, as the Eagles excelled on both sides of the ball during the first quarter. After forcing a Knights punt, the Eagles proceeded to drive down the field 63 yards and score by way of a 33-yard pass from Mitchell to Jonathan Hefner.
Just before the end of the first quarter, however, Stratford fumbled the ball away, setting up Deerfield-Windsor’s first score two plays into the second quarter when Fox scored from 10 yards out.
After Fox’s first touchdown, Stratford began a long, methodical drive to the Deerfield-Windsor 10, but the Eagles were stopped on a fourth-and-1 by the Knights. Deerfield-Windsor then began a 90-yard drive that ended with a Fox touchdown just before halftime.
Fox’s other touchdown came on Deerfield-Windsor’s first offensive play in the third quarter, when he broke open a 57-yard scoring run to put the Knights up 21-7.
The Eagles answered on the next drive, as Mitchell burst into end zone from 3 yards out to bring the Eagles within seven.
VALDOSTA TOO MUCH FOR CRISP: One week after a thrilling victory against Cook County that lifted the Crisp County football team into The Herald’s Fab 5 Poll, the Cougars ran into one of the best teams in all of South Georgia.
Valdosta poured on 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to turn a close game Friday in Cordele into a 40-6 victory.
Crisp quarterback Witt Campbell scored on a 5-yard TD run in the second quarter -- which was set up by an interception from Montre Hartage – to make it a 14-6 game heading into halftime, but Class AAAAAA Valdosta was too much late in the game and handed the Cougars (2-1) their first loss of the season.
“We fought with them and hung around for a little bit,” Crisp coach Lee Campbell said. “I thought the kids played hard. There were just too many second-half mistakes, and you cant do that against a team like Valdosta.”
MONROE FALLS TO FITZGERALD: Playing their third straight lower-classification powerhouse to start the season, The Herald No. 3 Tornadoes fell to 1-2 on the season with a 24-21 loss to Class AA Fitzgerald on Friday.
Monroe took a 21-17 lead into the fourth quarter, but Fitzgerald scored with seven minutes remaining and held off the Tornadoes down the stretch.
“It’s a tough loss because we made so many mistakes,” Monroe coach Charles Truitt said. “They are a good team, but we helped them out, and you can’t help out a good team.”
Monroe’s second-half lead came with five minutes left in the third quarter when Daryl Brown scored on a 5-yard run. Chris Young scored the Tornadoes’ first TD with a 3-yard run, and Brown scored with 20 seconds left in the opening half on a 45-yard pass from reigning Herald Player of the Year Charles Stafford.
HERALD NO. 5 SEMINOLE COUNTY 21, CLINCH COUNTY 14: Herald No. 5 Seminole remained unbeaten and improved to 3-0 on Friday. Robert Speights accounted for two touchdowns, rushing for one on a 66-yard scamper and tossing a 5-yard strike to Tyler Peters. Alex Fudge scored on a 3-yard run.
The Indians (3-0) rolled up 252 yards of total offense and will play again Friday at Pelham.
PELHAM ROUTS MILLER COUNTY: TJ Drake ran back two kickoffs for touchdowns and got in the end zone again with a rushing touchdown, and Desmond Parker finished with three rushing TDs to lead Pelham to a 45-14 win against Miller County.
The Pirates’ lone scores were a 1-yard run by Rod Williams and a 70-yard fumble return by Jacobe Cooper.
Miller County plays again Friday at Marion County, while Pelham is in action at home against Herald No. 5 Seminole County.
SOUTHLAND ACADEMY 47, SHERWOOD CHRISTIAN 16: Southland scored 27 points in the third quarter and built an insurmountable lead on its way to pounding Sherwood Christian. John Adkins, Ryan Weaver and Blake Shattles scored two touchdowns each to pace the victory.
Sherwood (1-3) scored two late touchdowns. Keyshawn Powell scored on 2-yard run with Chris Thomas converting the 2-point conversion to make it 47-8. Then Chaz Griffin scored on a 62-yard run, followed by Greg Elder’s two-point conversion run.
The Eagles return home next week and play host to Windsor Academy. Southland improved to 2-2.
CRISP ACADEMY 41, COVENANT 19: Jake Smith scored three touchdowns, including a punt return for a touchdown to help the Wildcats rout Covenant and improve to 3-0. Crisp rolled up 457 yards of total offense, including 352 yards rushing.
Jeff McKinney, Matt Wright and Hunter Chambers all scored rushing touchdowns for the Wildcats, who play host to Griffin Christian next week.
OTHER SWGA SCORES: Cook County 38, Dougherty 13;
Calhoun County 14, Lanier County 6;
Terrell Academy 34, Fullington Academy 14;
Telfair County 47, Baconton Charter 6;
Macon County 18, Americus-Sumter 7;
Terrell County 40, Central Talbotton 0.