(Featured image: Aquinas quarterback James Franklin leaps over defender. Christopher Rickerson/Augusta Good News)
The Aquinas football season came to an end after a heartbreaking 38-35 loss in overtime on Friday, Nov. 17.
Friday night’s second round playoff matchup was back and forth all night long.
Aquinas quarterback Jim Franklin began the game with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Buddyrow Garrer.
The Fightin’ Irish looked to have early momentum as the defense forced an interception after the touchdown; however, a blocked punt shifted that momentum as Macon County returned the turnover for a touchdown, tying the game 7-7.
Both teams would score two more times before the end of the first half, including two rushing touchdowns by Franklin as the game would be tied 21-21 going into the third quarter.
Aquinas began the first half similar to the first with an early interception and a 26-yard passing touchdown from Franklin to wide receiver Jack Rhodes, giving the Fightin’ Irish a 28-21 lead.
Macon County tied the game at 28-28 and looked to take the lead, but Aquinas blocked a field goal with 8:53 remaining in the fourth.
Franklin gave Aquinas the lead with his third rushing touchdown of the game on a 47-yard run.
The Bulldogs answered once again with a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brian Harris Jr. to wide receiver Tyler Felder.
Aquinas missed a 49-yard field goal, forcing the game to overtime.
After falling short of the goal line on fourth down, Macon County kicker Josh Gutierrez converted the 30-yard field to win the game and keep the Bulldogs season alive.
Macon County will now advance to play Telfair County in the Quarterfinals of the Class A Division II Georgia High School Football Playoffs on Friday, Nov. 24.
Christopher Rickerson, an Augusta University graduate, has covered area sports for Augusta University, The Augusta Press and Augusta Good News. Subscribe to the Augusta Good News newsletter here.
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