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High School Football

West Carroll War Eagles Win Nail-Biter at South Fulton

Posted 10/30/19

by brad sambrad@mckenziebanner.com© 2019 Tri-County Pub., Inc.SOUTH FULTON (October 25) — The West Carroll War Eagles traveled Friday to face the South Fulton Red Devils in a key region …

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High School Football

West Carroll War Eagles Win Nail-Biter at South Fulton

Posted

SOUTH FULTON (October 25) — The West Carroll War Eagles traveled Friday to face the South Fulton Red Devils in a key region game as the regular season nears its end. The War Eagles trailed at the half, but pulled ahead by two scores in the third quarter. South Fulton mounted a rally in the fourth, cutting the deficit to four points in the final seconds and pulling off an onside-kick recovery. The Red Devils failed to score on a Hail Mary play as time expired, and West Carroll claimed a 34-30 road win.

South Fulton won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. An eleven-play drive culminated in a one-yard touchdown run by Red Devil Greg Davis. Davis converted for two points, and South Fulton had an 8-0 lead halfway through the opening frame.

A short kick by the Red Devils started the War Eagles at their own 46. Quarterback Jeremiah Bryant kept for two yards, then jetted for a 52-yard touchdown. He ran it in for two points, and the game was knotted at 8-8.

South Fulton put together a promising possession, advancing to the West Carroll 33, but penalties on the last play of the first quarter and the first play of the second doomed the drive. The Red Devil punt was downed at the 13.

Starting deep, the War Eagles couldn’t get anything going and went three-and-out. Their punt was downed at the West Carroll 37, giving South Fulton a short field.

The Red Devils ran three times to get to the 14, then a penalty moved the ball back to the 26. Three plays later, it was fourth-and-14, but quarterback Bryce McFarland threw to Dalton Gray for a 19-yard touchdown. Gray ran for two, and South Fulton regained the lead, 16-8, with three and a half minutes to play in the half.

The War Eagles earned one first down before stalling out and punting. The Red Devils managed just one play before intermission.

West Carroll received the second-half kickoff, and Bryant kept the first snap for a 63-yard touchdown. Jarrius Weatherford was stopped short on the two-point attempt, and the War Eagles still trailed 16-14.

South Fulton earned a first down on the ensuing drive, but two penalties halted the progress. Facing fourth-and-seven at the West Carroll 37, McFarland’s throw was broken up and nearly picked off by Bryant.

Taking over, Bryant ran for back-to-back first downs, then Weatherford ran for five. Bryant followed with a 15-yard touchdown. The two-point try failed, but the War Eagles had their first lead of the game, 20-16, with just under five minutes remaining in the third.

The Red Devils again earned one first down before turning the ball over on downs.

West Carroll immediately took advantage as Bryant kept the first snap for a 56-yard touchdown. He kept again for two points, and the lead was up to 28-16 with a minute to go in the third.

Davis earned a pair of first downs on three carries to finish the quarter, then moved the chains again to start the final frame. Nearly half of the clock ran off as Davis had all but one touch in an eleven-play scoring drive. Gray was stopped short on the two-point conversion, but South Fulton had cut the deficit to 28-22.

The War Eagles began the ensuing drive at their own 20. Bryant gained 12 for a first down, but a penalty on the next play negated a gain by Weatherford. Bryant kept for a short gain, then repeated for 39 yards. Weatherford made a short gain, then Bryant ran for six. On third-and-two at the 15, Bryant kept for 13 and a first-and-goal. Two plays later, he punched it in. The two-point try failed, but West Carroll’s lead was 34-22 with just over two minutes left in the contest.

Starting at the far 32 with time running short, South Fulton was forced to rely on the passing game to manage the clock. McFarland threw for a pair of first downs before three straight passes fell incomplete. A fourth-down throw earned just enough to move the chains. The QB tossed to Davis for eight, then missed on back-to-back attempts. The Red Devils had to risk a running play on fourth-and-two with 30 seconds left and no timeouts. Davis plowed forward for seven down to the 4, where McFarland quickly spiked the ball to stop the clock at 22 seconds. After on incomplete pass, he found Eli Carlisle for the score. Davis punched it in for two points, and the deficit was cut to 34-30 with six seconds to play.

South Fulton recovered the do-or-die onside kick, and had the ball near midfield with 3.9 seconds on the clock. McFarland heaved a Hail Mary, but it fell incomplete as the clock read all zeros.

War Eagle Jeremiah Bryant had 19 carries for 333 yards and five touchdowns. Cody Wildridge led the West Carroll defense with 15 total tackles.

West Carroll (5-4, 4-1) will finish the regular season Friday at Greenfield (7-2, 4-1). The contest will determine second place in Region 7-1A. The winner will host in the first round of the playoffs, while the loser will travel.

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