High School Football

Cougars win on late interception return by Williams

by Doug Gorman

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Newnan senior running back J.K. Britt looks to barrel ahead for extra yards on a handoff during the Cougars’ 28-22 victory at Carrollton in Friday’s season opener.


CARROLLTON – Friday night’s football game between Newnan and Carrollton was an old-fashioned shootout.

In the end, Newnan relied on big plays from the defense to earn a 28-22 victory on a hot and humid night in front of a packed house at Grisham Stadium.

Newnan put together a rally to win the game after falling behind 10-0.

After exchanging the lead twice in the second half, Newnan senior cornerback Frankie Williams came up big with an interception and returned it for 48 yards, scoring a touchdown with 2:43 left in the game and breaking a 22-22 tie.

“I have said it many times. He is not the biggest guy out there, but he just makes things happen,” Newnan head coach Mike McDonald said. “He knows his position, and he gets it done. I knew when he broke on it, he was going to score.”

Williams got a read on Carrollton quarterback Dee Williams’ pass attempt and raced untouched to the end zone.

The Trojans had one more chance to score, but Newnan’s defense held with under a minute left.

“That was a huge stance from the defense,” McDonald said. “Carrollton is an explosive team.”

Newnan trailed 10-7 at the half, but outscored the Trojans 21-12 over the final two quarters.

“There were a lot of times we could have quit, but we didn’t and our kids kept fighting,” McDonald said. “It’s a sign of a good spring and summer. I have said it before, we are not the most talented, but these guys really work hard.”

Newnan stole the momentum with consecutive scores late in the third quarter and early in the fourth before the Trojans tied the game at 22 with a little more than four minutes left.

Early in the third quarter, Britt cut the Trojans’ lead to 16-14 with a 41-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.

After taking the handoff from Bailey Bryant, Britt broke two tackles and sprinted down the Cougars’ sidelines untouched for the score.

Newnan then took its first lead with 7:31 remaining in the game when Bryant scored on a 1-yard run up the middle. His two-point conversion gave the Cougars a 22-16 lead.

Bryant finished the game 14 of 26 for 144 yards and a touchdown, and three different running backs accounted for more than 100 yards on the ground for Newnan.

Britt led the Cougars’ rushing attack with 79 yards and a touchdown.

Kevlin Khyam added 35 yard and Damion Key added 21, including a long of 18.

Carrollton’s Jarvis Terrell rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown to lead the Trojans.

Newnan converted 7 of 15 third downs and both fourth down attempts in the game.

The Trojans built a 10-0 lead with back-to-back scores, before Bryant put together a late-scoring drive for the Cougars to cut the lead to 10-7 at the half.

Both teams had the ball for just one series in the first quarter after keeping the ball primarily on the ground.

Newnan generated some offense early, keeping the ball for 13 plays and moving 40 yards into Carrollton territory before the Cougars’ punt was blocked, giving the Trojans good field position.

Terrell was the workhorse of the Trojans’ first series, picking up runs of 3, 5 and 11 yards. Jarrell Rowe caught a 29-yard pass, but four plays later, Newnan held, forcing Cristian Ramirez’ 27-yard field goal for the first score of the game.

The Trojans needed just three plays to find the end zone on their next series.

Jack Hesterlee caught a 35-yard pass from Mitchell, and one play later, Terrell busted free for a 13-yard run and a 10-0 lead.

Newnan mixed the run and the pass early in the game. Bryant completing seven passes for 70 yards in the first half. Two of his biggest passes came in the final drive of the quarter.

Arnold kept the drive alive with a 17-yard catch. Three players later, the duo hooked up again on a 17-yard touchdown with 2:11 left in the half to cut the lead to 10-7.

Arnold finished the game with five receptions for 55, including his touchdown.

Newnan returns to Drake Stadium next week against Marietta.

NEWNAN 0 7 7 14

CARROLLTON 3 7 6 6

FIRST QUARTER

CARROLLTON—Cristian Ramirez 27 kick, 12.2

SECOND QUARTER

CARROLLTON -Jarvis Terrell 13 run (Ramirez Kick)

NEWNAN-Bryant 17 pass to Randell Arnold (Jacob Bryant kick), 2:07

THIRD QUARTER

CARROLLTON-Osorio Angalo 1 run (kick failed), 8:32

NEWMAN-J.K. Britt 41 run (Jacob Bryant kick), 4:13

FOURTH QUARTER

NEWNAN-Bailey Bryant 1 run (Bryant 2-point conversion), 7:31

CARROLLTON-Corad Jackson 1-run (kick blocked). 4:22

NEWNAN—Frankie Williams 48 interception (kick blocked)



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