If there were any questions about the state of Crisp County’s football resurgence, they probably were answered Friday night.
After a building a 5-0 record against teams with mostly non-winning records, Crisp rallied to beat Class AA No. 3-ranked Brooks County 16-14 after being behind 14-3 at half. The Cougars moved to 6-0 for the first time since 1988. It was Brook’s first loss of the season.
“We made some mistakes in the first half and they capitalized on it,” Crisp coach Shelton Felton said. “There were so many people there. It was wall-to-wall, and it kind of threw my kids off. It was the first time they saw that kind of a crowd. We just were not used to it, but we gathered ourselves in the second half and just chipped away.”
“Defensively, we were just physical in the second half and just kept hitting them in the mouth. We smothered them defensively. Offensively, we caught a rhythm, and my sophomore quarterback just took over in the fourth quarter. We went back and forth and stopped them and drove down and with eight seconds left. It was like a college game on TV. My sophomore kicker, Brandon Thompson, kicked the game-winning field goal from 31 yards.”
The Cougars will enter Region 1 play next week against Monroe (2-2).
With six of the top 10 teams sitting out the weekend, there were few surprises.
— No 4. Liberty County (4-1) lost to Class AAAAAA Effingham County (4-2) in overtime, 35-34. According to the Savannah Morning News, Liberty had a 28-14 lead with seven minutes remaining, but Effingham’s offense came alive and tied the game with 3.2 seconds left in regulation. The deciding play happened in overtime, when Liberty coach Kurt Warner went for the victory on a 2-point conversion after a penalty backed the Panthers to the 7-yard line. Effingham stopped quarterback Jaalon Frazier just shy of the end zone. Liberty enters Region 2 play next week against Tattnall County (3-2).
— Top-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian (5-1, 2-0) easily defeated Fannin County (2-4, 0-2) in a Region 7 game, 52-10. Junior Trey Morrison returned the opening kickoff 98-yards for a touchdown, and GAC was never challenged. The dual threat of Davis Mills’ precision passing and Kyler McMichael’s rushing game is formidable. Mills finished the game 10-of-16 passing for 182 yards and two touchdowns and led his team to 421 yards of total offense. McMichael, who led the county in rushing yards (637) entering the game, rushed for 66 yards on just four carries.
— No. 6 Calhoun (4-2, 1-0) moved past Haralson County (1-4, 0-1) 44-7 in its first Region 6 game. The Yellow Jackets seem to be on pace to win their 16th consecutive region title. The one unanswered question: How long will starting running back Olico Dennis be sidelined after tearing his ACL last week against North Murray? Against Haralson, quarterback Gavin Gray shouldered the weight, passing for three touchdowns.
Top 10 teams with the week off:
— No. 2 Pace Academy
— No. 3 Peach County
— No. 5 Westminster
— No. 9 Cedar Grove
— No. 10 Appling County