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Oct. 16—For 47 minutes and 33 seconds, the defensive game plan had worked to perfection for Heritage.
Wanting to keep Northwest Whitfield star receiver Ray Morrison from breaking big plays Friday night in Tunnel Hill, the visiting Generals consistently double-teamed the senior speedster. However, trying to protect a 15-14 lead with 27 seconds left, Heritage dropped into deep coverage and Morrison burned them.
Morrison caught three consecutive passes from Owen Brooker, the third one on a quick out route that turned into a 60-yard touchdown with five seconds left to give the Bruins a stunning 22-15 GHSA Region 7-AAAA win. The touchdown came after Heritage had its own shocking score as Kaden Swope connected with J.C. Armour on a 15-yard pass, capping a 67-yard drive that included 30 yards of Northwest penalties.
"I'm super proud of our men," Northwest coach Josh Robinson said after his team improved to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in league play. "We made a lot of mistakes, but there is no give up. It was disheartening after they scored, but our offense believes in Owen Brooker. We wanted to get into field-goal range to win it, but we didn't have to rely on that.
"Ray got a little frustrated at being double-teamed all night, but he made up for it. We threw the out to him a couple of times, and they were tightening up on it. I told our coaches that I think we can run the out and up, and Ray caught the ball and broke a tackle and sprinted to the end zone."
Brooker's 1-yard run and Cameron Collins' 3-yard scoring run put the Bruins up 14-2 in the second quarter before Swope hit Tyler Cheatwood on a 30-yard pass with 17 seconds left in the first half to cut the lead to five.
Swope nearly gave the Generals (6-2, 2-1) the lead midway through the final quarter, but he was stripped of the ball at the 1-yard line after breaking a long run by Dominique Smith, with Braxton Floyd recovering.
Darlington 28, Christian Heritage 24: In a Region 7-A private game that had six lead changes, the Tigers made the last one count. After senior running back Solomon Locke's 19-yard run put the visiting Lions (3-5, 1-1) up 24-21 with 1:48 remaining, Darlington star Patrick Shelley had several tough runs, his final one a 7-yard touchdown with 31 seconds left. Shelley, who earlier passed for a score and caught a 52-yard halfback pass for a touchdown, then ended the game with an interception. Christian Heritage quarterback Christian Thomas had a 70-yard touchdown pass to Eli Thomason in the first half and later added a 1-yard scoring run.
Calhoun 52, Woodland-Bartow 6: The Yellow Jackets (7-1, 3-0 Region 7-AAAAA) had little trouble as Caden Williams had 95 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Christian Lewis had 97 yards and a touchdown in one quarter of work. Backup quarterback Trey Townsend added 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns, with Cole Speer taking his lone reception 53 yards for a score.
Chattooga 28, Dade County 13: The Indians (5-2, 4-0 Region 7-AA) pitched a second-half shutout against the Wolverines (5-2, 2-1). Chattooga quarterback Brody Mobbs had a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs, one set up by Lashaun Lester's 55-yard run that gave the Indians a 14-7 lead in the first half. Dade's Brody Cooper scored on an 11-yard run midway through the second quarter, but the PAT was missed. Nic Hester's 1-yard run pushed the lead to 21-13 in the third before Mobbs sealed it with his second short score.
LaFayette 27, Coahulla Creek 14: Senior Jaylon Ramsey had 172 rushing yards and two touchdowns, one a 75-yarder, as the Ramblers (4-3, 3-2 Region 6-AAA) won a key game for playoff positioning. Jacob Brown had a pair of field goals for LaFayette, which also got 163 passing yards and 41 yards and a touchdown on the ground from quarterback Zach Barrett. Kace Kinnamon had a touchdown pass for the Colts (4-4, 2-4).
Adairsville 21, Sonoraville 14: Adairsville scored all its points in the fourth quarter after trailing 14-0 to pull out the Region 6-AAA win. Jaxson Pate had a touchdown pass to Nick Beddington and a short scoring run for the early lead for the Phoenix (4-3, 2-3). Jonathan Gough had three touchdown passes in the final 12 minutes for the Tigers (6-1, 3-1).
North Murray 56, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 17: Seth Griffin had four touchdown passes, two to Jadyn Rice, as the Mountaineers (4-2, 2-2 Region 6-AAA) rolled. Rice added a 5-yard touchdown run and Judson Petty caught a touchdown pass, scored on a 1-yard run and recovered a fumble for a score.
Trion 38, B.E.S.T Academy 6: Senior running back Rob Brown had 134 yards and touchdown runs of 23 and 13 yards, giving him more than 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season. Nathan Willingham caught a touchdown pass from Cade Smith and Logan Eller added a 6-yard scoring for the Bulldogs (6-1, 1-1 Region 6-A public).
Other area scores:
Coosa 7, Gordon Central 6
Rockmart 72, Murray County 0
Cedartown 50, Ridgeland 6
Contact Lindsey Young at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.