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Late touchdown beats Screven County

    SWAINSBORO – This one wasn’t supposed to end this way for the Gamecocks.
    After controlling the tempo for the entire contest, the Screven County Gamecocks (5-4-3-3) watched a crucial victory against region rival Swainsboro Tigers (8-1, 5-1) slip away in a 14-7 heartbreaker.
    With 19 seconds remaining in the game and the score knotted at 7-7, Tiger quarterback Rashaad James found Neil Young in the endzone for a 15-yard touchdown pass that propelled Swainsboro to the win.
    It was a tale of two heroic defensive efforts where neither side relinquished any ground.
    Swainsboro forced a fumble early to take over on the Gamecock 27 with 6:12 to play in the first quarter. But the Gamecock defense returned the favor by sacking the Tiger quarterback and recovering the ball on the 50. The turnover would lead to a Gamecock score and the sole points scored in the first half.
    Screven’s Travis Coles powered through Tiger defenders in the first quarter and outran pursuers for a 33-yard touchdown run that gave the Gamecocks an early lead that would last until the second half.
    Swainsboro put together an impressive responding drive before the Gamecock defense stiffened inside their own 30-yard line to stop the Tigers on a fourth and short situation.
    After the Gamecocks had controlled the tempo of the first half, the Tigers came out of the locker room to change the situation. With 7:47 left in the third, Swainsboro finally got on the board when Derrick Smith punched through for the one-yard touchdown to tie the game.
    Both teams fought back and forth for the remainder of the game. The defenses forced key turnovers on both sides with neither offense able to capitalize.
    With 1:22 left on the clock, the Tigers picked off a Gamecock pass and returned it to the Screven County 42. The Gamecocks stubbornly halted Tiger progress on a handful of plays before finding a way to score and take the lead.
    The Gamecocks tried to go deep with less than 15 seconds on the clock but couldn’t score.
    Screven County plays their final game of the regular season next week against Southeast Bulloch High School while Swainsboro will take on the Metter Tigers.

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