(Featured photo: Harlem wide receiver Kee Williams makes a one-handed catch to put Harlem in scoring position. Christopher Rickerson/Augusta Good News)
HARLEM — Morgan County won the battle of the bulldogs Friday, defeating Harlem 35-21 to win the Georgia AAA Region 4 High School Football Championship.
The Morgan County Bulldogs got their revenge Friday night after they lost in the region title game last year to Harlem 34-17.
Harlem got the ball first and drove inside Morgan County’s 40-yard line before throwing an interception in scoring territory on fourth down.
Running back Christian Monfort ran in the first touchdown of the game for Morgan County to put the team ahead 7-0 with 6:19 remaining in the first quarter.
Harlem answered quickly with a run of its own with running back Corey Boyd scoring on a 25-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 7-7 with 4:52 remaining in the first quarter.
The Harlem Bulldogs continued their momentum with a 14-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Ethan Evangelista, giving them the lead 14-7 after the first quarter.
Morgan County failed on fourth down early in the second quarter but would get the ball right back and tie the game 14-14 after a 3-yard rushing touchdown by Antavious Elder.
The game would take a quick turn when Harlem fumbled on the next kickoff. Morgan County took advantage of the turnover, and quarterback Talan Fuller connected with wide receiver Jaylen Elder on a long play-action pass for a touchdown, putting Morgan County ahead 21-14 at the half.
Fuller helped extend the Morgan County lead to 28-14 with a 60-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ty Tillery.
After a one-handed catch by Harlem receiver Kee Williams, Harlem looked to cut the lead but failed after a fumble on a handoff early in the fourth quarter.
However, Morgan County would go 3-and-out quickly on the next drive and Elijah Evangelista would score on a 14-yard touchdown pass from his brother to cut Morgan County’s lead to 28-21.
A long run and a 5-yard rushing touchdown by Morgan County running back Jaydon Dorsey put the game almost out of reach for Harlem. A late interception sealed the deal, and Morgan County won the region championship 35-21 over Harlem.
Morgan County will now be the No. 1 seed going into the AAA Georgia High School Football State Playoffs, followed by second-seed Harlem.
The opponents and date for both teams first round playoff game is to be announced.
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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