Indians Defeat Monroe Area in Region Football Opener

A 29-yard field goal with one second to play by Colton Bartmas gives  the Stephens County Indians a dramatic region win on the road.

Thursday night, Stephens County came back from a first-half deficit to beat Monroe Area 27-24 in Walton County in the Region 8-AAA opener for both teams.

Indians’ Head Coach Wesley Tankersley said it was a tremendous performance in all three phases.

“The first quarter was almost a mirror image of two years ago when we blocked a punt and scored and then they came back and beat us,” he said. “We reminded our seniors of that when we fell behind 17-7. They stepped up. We had great senior leadership tonight. I told them in the pre-game that special teams could win or lose the game, and it did (win us the game).”

The Indians started the scoring on a 5-yard touchdown run by Brock Tankersley in the opening quarter following a blocked punt by Stephens County’s special teams on Monroe Area’s opening possession.

Monroe Area scored the next two touchdowns to take a 14-7 lead after one quarter on a pair of touchdown runs.

In the second quarter, the Purple Hurricanes added a 30-yard field goal to make it 17-7, but Stephens County cut it to a touchdown at halftime on a 26-yard field goal from Colton Bartmas.

The Indians tied it at 17 on the opening possession of the second half on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Ben Stowe to Jasec Smith. Stephens County then took the lead at 24-17 heading into the final period on a one-handed 23-yard touchdown catch by Javin Gordon on a pass from Ben Stowe.

Down seven entering the fourth quarter, Monroe Area tied it up at 24 with six minutes to play on a 4-yard touchdown pass.

However, the Indians got a stop on defense late and drove down for the game-winning 29-yard field goal by Bartmas.

With the win, Stephens County moves to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in region play, while Monroe Area falls to 0-1 in the region and 2-4 overall. Next week, Stephens County heads back out on the road to take on Franklin County in Carnesville in another Region 8-AAA contest.

In other area games …

  • Hart County beat Franklin County, 49-3
  • Oconee County lost to Hebron Christian, 35-28
  • Habersham Central lost to Jackson County, 38-13

Player Awards

Georgia Farm Bureau Player of the Game – Jasec Smith

Hart EMC Lineman of the Game – Aaron Maxwell

Highway 17 Diner Sub of the Game – Jacob Lunsford

First Baptist Church Spirit Award – Santana Smith