Eastside goes for two, serves Oconee County its first loss in OT thriller

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

Two previously undefeated teams lost Friday night, leaving Cartersville, Thomson, Ridgeland and Madison County as Class AAAA’s four remaining unbeatens. Oconee County fell in overtime to Eastside 32-31 and Effingham County beat Burke County for the first time in school history 28-21 to give the Bears their first loss. As for the unblemished records, Ridgeland won a shootout with Northwest Whitfield 48-42, Madison County scored a 20-14 victory at Franklin County, Cartersville outstripped Cedartown 44-6 and Thomson was on a bye.

In the non-region matchup between Oconee County and the Eagles, Eastside’s Billy Love kicked a 27-yard field goal with 55 seconds left in the game to force overtime (24-24). A Jared Hood 5-yard touchdown run in extra period gave Oconee County a 31-24 lead. Eastside answered with an Austin Holloway quarterback keeper touchdown run to make it 31-30 and head coach Troy Hoff elected to go for the win on the conversion. Holloway found Jamari Brown on a quick screen out in the flats before the sophomore followed his blockers and plunged his way into the end zone for the game-winning play.

The 2 point conversion is good! Eastside defeats Oconee County 32-31! pic.twitter.com/JON6kaUsLQ

— Eastside High School (@EHS_Eagles) September 24, 2016

Before the overtime, Josh Sims gave Eastside a 21-14 halftime lead with a pair of touchdowns. Oconee County’s Champ Bell caught a touchdown pass in the second quarter and opened the third quarter with a 17-yard touchdown run that tied it at 21-21. Hunter Reynolds kicked a 32-yard Oconee County field goal with 2:46 left before Love tied the game at 24-24 with his 27-yard field goal less than two minutes later.

Effingham County trailed Burke County 14-0 after the opening quarter and didn’t lead until its go-ahead touchdown with 55 seconds left (28-21). Here are more notable results from Friday’s slate:

The running tandem of Colby Wood and Zack Boobas carried the Dragons to a huge 31-28 victory over Class AAAAAAA Gainesville in what marked the two former state champion’s first-ever meeting. Both backs ran in two touchdowns apiece. Wood broke off scoring runs of 57 and 13 yards while Boobas added a pair of 6-yard scores. Hayden Kilgore knocked in a 26-yard field goal in the second quarter to give Jefferson a 17-0 lead. Gainesville quarterback D.J. Irons ignited the Gainesville comeback attempt with a 6-yard touchdown run just before the half.

Spalding nearly pulled off an upset against Class AAAAAA No. 1 Houston County, but fell short 28-24. Spalding opened the game with a 17-0 lead that held up late into the second quarter until the Bears chipped away to make it 17-8 at the half. Five-star quarterback Jake Fromm led the Bears to three second half touchdowns as they completed the comeback and improved to 6-0 for the second straight season.

Speaking of five-star quarterbacks, Cartersville’s Trevor Lawrence tossed five touchdown passes in Cartersville’s 44-6 win over Cedartown. The Purple Hurricanes outgained Cedartown 380 to 48 in total yardage. Lawrence finished 18-of-31 passing for 300 yards. Antoine Jefferson caught 10 balls for 153 yards and a touchdown, J’Kobe Orr caught two touchdowns and Trase Fezzia brought in a 43-yard touchdown pass. Cartersville has outscored its opponents 199 to 27 (34.4 points per game) during its 5-0 start.