Stephens County stays alive in the Region 8-AAAA playoff race.
The Indians fell behind in the first quarter, but came back in the second quarter to take the lead for good in a 30-14 win over Eastside in Covington Friday night.
Head Coach Travis Noland said the Indians did a great job in putting together four quarters of football.
“We played hard all night,” said Noland. “We had some bad things happen to us right there at the first of the game and they did not tuck their head. I cannot say enough about taking this step. I feel like we finally grew up a little bit tonight and it was fun to see.”
Eastside scored on its first play from scrimmage thanks to a 50-yard Jamondi Smith touchdown run to take a 6-0 lead, but the Indians blocked the extra point.
The Indians punted on their next possession, but Eastside fumbled and Stephens County proceeded to go on a 16-play drive, that included three fourth-down conversions and ended with a Jacob Oliver 25-yard field goal.
Stephens County took the lead at 10-6 just before halftime on a 2-yard touchdown run by Mason Long.
Then, the Indians extended their lead to 24-6 in the third quarter on two Jai Brown touchdown runs, of 2 and 33 yards respectively.
Eastside got within 10 at 24-14 late in the third on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Austin Holloway to Josh Sims, but the Indians put it away on Brown’s third touchdown run of the game, from one yard out, with less than four minutes to go.
Brown had over 200 total yards of offense for Stephens County, while Smith led Eastside with over 100 yards rushing.
With the win, Stephens County moves to 5-4 on the season and 3-3 in region play. Eastside is 6-3 on the season and is also 3-3 in the region.
Friday night, the Indians host Lumpkin County on Senior Night at the Reservation and a win gets Stephens County in the state playoffs.
In other action around Region 8-AAAA this past Friday, Monroe Area won the region title with a 28-21 win over Chestatee, Lanier beat Lumpkin County 41-7, and Madison County beat Walnut Grove 41-6.
Looking at other games from the area, Franklin County picked up its first win of the year by beating East Jackson 27-18, Habersham Central finished its season 0-10 with a 62-0 loss to Mill Creek, and Hart County beat Morgan County 27-8.
Arby’s Player of the Game: Jai Brown
Hart EMC Lineman of the Game: Chase Coleman
Mill Creek Veterinary Clinic Sub of the Game: Desmond Wheeler
First Baptist Church Spirit Award: Tyrik Cunningham and Abe Brown