MS Football: Arnall stuns Madras in OT to tighten league race
From Staff Reports
The Coweta County Middle School Athletic League football season has been unpredictable through the first three weeks of the season.
Arnall certainly helped continue that trend on Tuesday.
Milan Grice’s 10-yard touchdown catch, one of three from Arnall quarterback Will Laguardia against the Eagles, in overtime catapulted the Knights into a four-way tie for second place in the CCMSAL, one game behind previously unbeaten Madras (3-1).
Madras now needs a victory over East Coweta (2-2) next Thursday to hang on to the top seed in the upcoming CCMSAL playoffs. A win by the Indians — who fell 34-8 to Lee on Tuesday — and the race for first place will come down to some type of tiebreaker to decide the league’s No. 1 playoff seed.
Next week’s games feature Smokey Road (1-3) traveling to Arnall (2-2) and Lee hosting Evans in a battle between 2-2 lineups also vying for playoff position.
On Tuesday, Evans held off Smokey Road at home 22-20 in a game where all 42 points between teams were scored before halftime and decided on the latter of a pair of two-point conversion runs by Evans’ Josh Thomas.
Halftime at Arnall in this week’s game with Madras saw the Knights trailing 12-0 following a pair of touchdown runs by Ton Evans from opposite ends of the field. A 74-yard scamper in the first quarter pushed the Eagles out in front 6-0 before the Madras eighth-grader added a four-yard run just before going to the break. Both extra-point chances failed.
Arnall, however, finally grabbed some momentum when Laguardia connected with Justin Crump on a 5-yard touchdown pass to cut the 12-point lead in half in the third quarter. With the Knights defense holding a Madras’ offense led by quarterback Terrence Carter scoreless in the final three periods, Arnall struck again in the fourth quarter when Laguardia and Devonte Brown combined on a 10-yard touchdown.
With the Knights’ ensuing 2-point conversion run stopped by Madras’ defense, both teams headed into overtime before Laguardia capped off his day with a third touchdown throw, this one to Grice, one of his top running backs.
(To view photos from this game, please visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture and click on Sports / Football to see the Photo Gallery.)
IN OTHER CCMSAL action on Tuesday:
Evans 22, Smokey Road 20
In a game that proved how crucial extra points can be at the middle-school level, Josh Thomas’ final two-point run provided the eventual difference maker after his defensive teammates for Evans stopped Smokey Road’s two-point pass attempt in the closing seconds of the first half.
Both teams scored three times before halftime, with Smokey Road’s Jacob Bryant accounting for all of the Wildcats’ touchdowns on identical 1-yard runs. The final one to cap a quick scoring drive came with three seconds left in the second quarter, but the Wildcats’ failed conversion left them shy of tying the score after both defenses slammed the door in the final 16 minutes of the game.
Thomas got things started in a hurry for Evans by returning the opening kickoff 80 yards to give the Cougars an early 6-0 lead.
Smokey Road then responded with back-to-back 1-yard scores from Bryant to overtake a 13-6 lead with A.J. Robinson running in the latter two-point conversion try with 6:44 left in the first half.
Less than a minute later, however, Evans took the lead back for good when Kadarius Satterwhite found an opening and scored from 40-yards out. Thomas’ two-point run put the Cougars ahead 14-13.
Late in the second quarter, Satterwhite helped push his teammates further ahead 22-13 on a 1-yard run, with Thomas again running in the two-point conversion with 51 seconds left until halftime.
Lee 34, East Coweta 8
At McKnight Field, Lee exploded for 26-unanswered points in the second quarter to get itself back in the thick of the race for first place in the CCMSAL at 2-2.
The Timberwolves led 34-0 after Carlos Ford’s fourth touchdown of the game on a 72-yard run in the third quarter. Ford opened the scoring with a 52-yard jaunt in the second quarter and Andreco Ingram’s two-point run made it 8-0 before Lee’s defense kicked in to help their teammate begin to rack up touchdowns.
Interceptions by Timberwolves Bailey Whitton and Reggie Jones directly led to two more Ford TDs from 10 and 14 yards to push the lead to 20-0.
A touchdown pass from Chris Reid to P.J. Harris on a 34-yard play capped off the second-period outburst and another two-point run from Ingram gave Lee a 26-0 lead at halftime.
East Coweta (2-2) finally got on the scoreboard on Jeremiah Gemmel’s 25-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, with Logan Dockery adding the two-point conversion.
Team , W-L
East Coweta, 2-2
Smokey Road, 1-3
Arnall 18, Madras 12, overtime
Evans 22, Smokey Road 20
Lee 34, East Coweta 8
Thursday’s Games at 5 p.m.
Smokey Road at Arnall
Madras at East Coweta
Lee at Evans
END REGULAR SEASON