Habersham Kicks to Middle School Title
It is rare that a middle school football game is decided on a field goal, but that is what happened at The Reservation in Toccoa Monday night as the Habersham Central Middle School Raiders defeated the Stephens County Middle School Rebels in the NEGIAA championship game 24-22.
Facing a 4th and goal at the 3 yard line, Habersham’s Michael Hill kicked a 20-yard field goal with just over 24 seconds left in the game. Hill was also 3 for 3 on extra points during the game.
Habersham scored first on a short 2 yard run with 4 mins to go in the first quarter. The Rebels came back on an 85-yard run by Javin Gordan and a 2-point conversion run by Zachariah White to go up 8 to 7 with 7:24 to go in the second quarter. The lead was short-lived, on the first play from scrimmage after kickoff, Habersham quarterback Zeke Whittington broke off a 62 yard TD run. After the Hill PAT, it was 14-8 Habersham.
Gordan would tie the game up when he took the ensuing kickoff 65 yards for another Rebel score. The 2-point run was not successful leaving the score tied at 14 with 7 mins to go in the first half. Two series later, the Rebels attempted a backward pass, but it was fumbled and Habersham recovered at the Stephens County 10 yard line. Facing a 4th and goal at the 2, Whittington would score his second touchdown. After the PAT, Stephens County would trail, 21-14 at the half.
The Rebels took the 2nd half kickoff and drove 50 yards with Gordan scoring from 7 yards out. Gordan would also add the 2-point conversion and the Rebels led 22-21 with 3:32 to go in the third quarter.
Habersham could not convert a 4th & 8 at the Rebels 15, and after a Stephens County punt, Habersham would make their game winning drive of 45 yards, ending with Hill’s winning kick.
Stephens County finishes the year with a record of 6-2.