BY RAY VAN COR
The Greenville Standard
Joe Palmer Stadium in Leroy was packed for the second round of Alabama High School Athletic Association 1A playoffs.
Georgiana came in after trouncing the Keith Bears 61-0 and the Leroy Bears were undefeated at 10-0 before this matchup defeating the Calhoun Tigers 40-7.
Leroy drew first blood after a questionable first down call by referees. The Bears scored with 3:58 to go in the first quarter.
The extra point attempt was good giving Leroy a 7-0 lead at what first appeared to be a defensive struggle game.
In the second quarter, the Bears drove 60 plus yards to pad their account with six more points with 9:31 on the clock but missed the kick for the extra point making the score 13-0.
Finally, the Panthers were able to generate some offense and eventually score on a 60 plus yard broken sweep for a touchdown and the extra point kick was good making the score 13-7, still Leroy.
The Bears wasted no time and with 4:23 to go in the half the Bears scored yet again with the assistance of two felonious penalty calls, 20-7 Bears.
Georgiana pressed the field hard to include a miraculous one handed reception by Panther Keveon Miles which brought the Panthers within 12 yards of scoring again but the Georgiana couldn’t punch it in and time ran out on the half.
The second half started bad for the Panthers when the second play from scrimmage Georgiana threw an interception but managed to get the ball back on downs. The third quarter ended in a defensive stalemate.
In the fourth quarter, Leroy crossed the goal once more making it 27-7.
Georgiana, with 8:41 to go, scampered in for a touchdown. It looked as if the Panthers were on a rally but missed the extra point attempt making it 27-13 and with the final whistle Leroy hung on to a victory thus ending Georgiana’s run for the 1A championship.
Head Coach Berry Bess said this of his team, “I couldn’t be more prouder of this team. The growth of these young men on an off field has been tremendous. These kids battled and took all the blows thrown at them throughout the year. Unfortunately we came up short on the scoreboard but they are all winners in my book.”
Leroy will be at home again facing the Brantley Bulldogs who defeated Loachapoka Indians 42-12.
The Andalusia Bulldogs fell to Jackson 21-7 ending their season and the Straughn Tigers ended their season as well losing to Thomasville 33-21.
Highland Home also finished their run losing to the B. B Comer Tigers 21-14.
Congratulations to the Lowndes Academy Rebels for their back to back state championships while remaining 13-0 defeating Wilcox Academy 20 – 7.