Veterans has been to the state playoffs three other times since the program started in 2010, but Friday night’s win over No. 8 Thomas County Central may be its most significant victory.
The win came against a traditional state powerhouse and could be the deciding factor in helping the Warhawks again qualify for the postseason.
Veterans (4-4) stunned Thomas County 33-28 behind quarterback Leyton Pinckney, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and Jeremy Horton, who caught two touchdown passes and returned a kickoff for an 88-yard touchdown. James Tinney also kicked a pair of field goals in the win.
The Veterans defense was led by Jermail Lucas, who recovered two fumbles and kept pressure on Thomas County all night.
Jones County keeps rolling: The Greyhounds (4-3) scored 40 for the third straight game and whipped Union Grove 43-16. Junior Drake Bolus rushed for 224 yards and scored five touchdowns to lead Jones, which also got 101 yards passing from Bradley Hunnicutt.
Ola stops Locust Grove: In a battle that featured two of the Southside’s top running backs, Ola outlasted Locust Grove 20-16 for an important Region 4 victory. Ola’s Chris Rodriguez carried 29 times for 126 yards and the Grove’s Caleb Huntley pounded it 30 times for 194 yards. Rodriguez ran for two touchdowns and caught a 59-yard touchdown from Bryce Lawrence.
No. 1 Buford pounds Cedar Shoals: The Wolves (6-1) made it a sweep of Athens by clobbering Cedar Shoals 56-14. It was the sixth straight game in which Buford as scored 38 or more points and was its highest output of the season.
Five different players scored for Buford. Quarterback Mic Roof and running backs Anthony Grant, Derrian Brown and Christian Turner each scored twice and A.J. Wansley added one score. Brown led the offense with 77 yards rushing.
Five straight for No. 3 Kell: The Longhorns (6-1) got 156 yards and a touchdown from Dre Houston and whipped Villa Rica 50-0, setting up next week’s showdown with big Region 7 showdown with No. 5 Carrollton.
No sweat for No. 4 Rome: The Wolves (5-2) rode quarterback Knox Kadum (167 yards, three TDs) to a 42-7 win over Cass. The Rome defense came away with three interceptions in the first half.
Larsen big in Woodland win: Quarterback Reid Larsen threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns as No. 10 Woodland bounced Dutchtown 38-6. Shakur Brown intercepted two passes and caught a touchdown pass for the Wolfpack.
Griffin, Morton rolls along: Tylan Morton completed 27 of 33 passes for 360 yards, running for two touchdowns and throwing for two scores, in a 42-35 win over Fayette County. Santo Dunn, whose ankle is healthy again, ran for 140 yards and one touchdown for the Bears (7-1).
No. 6 Ware County blanks Statesboro: The Gators (3-3) won their Region 2 opener in dominating form. Ware County’s Jamar Lincoln had 201 yards and three touchdowns. Statesboro (0-7) will host New Hempstead on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in a game that was postponed because of Hurricane Matthew.