In the final moments of last week’s game against McIntosh County Academy, the Bryan County defense made possibly the play of the year for the Redskins.
Bryan County made a defensive stand, stuffing MCA on a two-point conversion attempt with 1:17 left in the game to preserve a 20-19 victory Oct. 15 in Darien.
The Redskins’ win combined with Vidalia’s 27-3 loss to Benedictine moved BCHS into sole possession of second place in Region 2-AA at 3-4 overall and 3-1 in region play.
“This was a very big win for us because it puts us right in the thick of the Region 2-AA playoff race,” Bryan County head coach Allen Cartwright said. “It is always big when you can beat a quality opponent like MCA on the road.”
The Redskins will be back home Friday night, looking for their third straight win. BCHS will host Jeff Davis for homecoming at 7:30 p.m.
Jeff Davis is 4-3 overall but just 1-3 in the region. The Yellow Jackets lost 30-20 to Bacon County last Friday.
“They are a physical football team, and the game will be a key factor in determining where each team stands in regards to making the playoffs,” Cartwright said.
Cartwright said he wasn’t surprised MCA head coach Robby Robinson opted to try a two-point conversion for the win rather than a tying extra point after the Buccaneers scored to cut Bryan County’s lead to 20-19 with 1:17 to play.
“Earlier in the year, they made the same decision when they played Vidalia, and it worked out for them,” he said.
In that game, MCA pulled off a 15-14 upset of Vidalia (4-3, 2-2) with a late two-point conversion. This time, the Bryan County defense stopped the Bucs short of the goal line, dropping MCA (2-5, 2-2) out of a second-place tie with the Redskins in the region standings.
Running back Markus Johnson and kicker Christian Thomas accounted for all the Redskins’ points against McIntosh County. Johnson ran for two touchdowns, and Thomas tacked on the extra point after both and kicked two field goals.
Johnson capped Bryan County’s opening possession with a 2-yard touchdown run. MCA tied the score early in the second quarter, but Thomas’ 25-yard field goal sent the Redskins to halftime with a 10-7 advantage.
The Buccaneers took their only lead of the game on a touchdown in the third quarter. However, the extra-point attempt failed, keeping the score at 13-10 and setting the stage for the decision to try for two at the end of the game.
Bryan County answered with a 6-yard touchdown run by Johnson and another Thomas field goal to take a 20-13 lead into the fourth quarter.
“All year long, I have been saying that we have been getting a little better each week,” Cartwright said. “I think we are a much better football team than we were when the season started.”
The BCHS offense, in particular, has been steadily improving. After scoring just one touchdown in their season-opening losses to Metter and Claxton, the Redskins have progressed to an average of 24 points in their wins over Bacon County and MCA.
Cartwright gave much of the credit to the offensive line, led by seniors Clayton Sullivan and D.J. Winters and junior Conner Schaffer.
“Our offensive line has been a big part of the success we have enjoyed offensively,” he said.
Dominique Mock led Bryan County with 11 tackles and an interception against MCA. Malik Bostick had a team-high eight solo tackles among his 10 stops.