Granite Bowl-Elberton, GA
Blue Devils Fall tonight to the North Oconee Titans 27-26. Blue Devils out gained the Titans 360 yards to 305 yards.
Scoring was as follows 8:22 in the 2nd quarter North Oconee’s Nathan Ellis kicks 32 yard field goal. Elbert County responds with a 5 play 81 yard drive with a 47 yard touchdown run from Tyshon Dye. Ty Martin’s extra point is good and the Blue Devils pull ahead 7-3.
North Oconee responds at the 1:14 mark of the 2nd quarter with a 21 yard Field Goal from Nathan Ellis to pull with in one point. The Elbert County Defense held the Titans on this drive following a fumble by Mecole Hardman on the Blue Devils 21 yard line.
The Blue Devils couldn’t do anything with the opening kick off to start the second half. The Titans however, scored on their first possession of the second half on a 9 play 57 yard drive capped off with a 13 yard run by Sophomore Running Back Kawon Bryant. Titans failed on the 2 point conversion which was intercepted and returned, however High School rules are different from College Football. No points can be scored by the defense on a 2 point conversion. With 6:44 to go in the 3rd quarter North Oconee lead 12-7.
Blue Devils respond in 44 seconds. On a third and long Mecole Hardman fakes the inside hand off to the Full Back and holds on to leave everyone behind on a 69 yard run. His third score of 60 yards or more this season. Elbert County fails on its 2 point attempt. This would be a costly exchange later in the contest. At the 6:06 mark in the 3rd quarter Blue Devils lead again 13-12.
North Oconee plays for field position on a 4th down and 3 short punt by Nick Colvin from the Blue Devils 49 yard line. The Elbert County Coaching staff called a time out when the Titans appeared to be going for it on 4th down. Following the time out, the Titans came out in the same formation and Colvin pinned the Blue Devils deep at the 8 yard line with his fourth punt inside of the 20 yard line on the season.
Elbert County looked shaky and appeared to be losing the battle of field position in the second half, as they did in the first half. However on a third down and eight, Tyshon Dye took it around the left side into the near boundary behind some key blocks and sprinted 89 yards for this second touch down of the game. Ty Martin’s PAT was good. With :53 seconds to go in the 3rd quarter the Blue Devils extend their lead to eight points to 20-12.
North Oconee responds with 15 unanswered on a 6 play 73 yard drive with a 50 yard run by Nick Colvin followed by a 2 point conversion. Then after forcing another Blue Devil punt, the Titans went 59 yards on 7 plays with another touch down run from Colvin, this one only 10 yards.
In between these drives, Mecole Hardman was stood up on a Quarter back keeper and clearly forward progress had ended, but there was no whistle from the officials. Hardman took two hard blows from the Titans defensive front and Hardman was injured. It appeared that the Titan’s fans applauded the injury to the Blue Devil’s quarterback. The Freshman quarterback showed his grit by coming back to try to lead the Blue Devils on the next possession. On a third down and ten, Hardman scrambled and his injured leg gave out, while he fell 1 yard shy of the first down.
Senior Rand Jones stepped in a quarterback on and on the following play dived forward behind the big offense line to secure the first down. 5 plays later, Jones scrambled and tossed a 8 yard pass to Boochie Reed who thwarted off two would be tacklers and ran 34 yards for the score. The Granite Bowl erupted as the Blue Devils were with in one point at 27-26. The play covered 42 yards and was the only completed pass for the Blue Devils on the night. Ty Martin’s PAT sailed short and right.
North Oconee took the ball at their own 21 yard line and milked away the remaining 4:01 off the clock to secure the victory for the Titans.
The Blue Devils fall to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in region 8-AAA play. Elbert County host Hart County this Friday to remain the in the race for second place once again this season in Region 8.