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Devils Fall to Patriots

The Red Devils fell to the high potent Wilcox County Patriots last night by a final score of 26-10 and dropped their region record to 2-2 in the process. The game was a hard fought contest with the Patriots putting it away with a TD in the fourth quarter. The "CBS Game Changing Play of the Week" came just before halftime. More on that in a moment.

The Patriots won the toss and elected to receive. They moved quickly down the field after a very good kickoff return. Marshall completed a 10 yard TD pass to complete the drive. The ensuing PAT was blocked by Fabian Forrest. The Devils would get on the board next after an interception of a Marshall pass with a 42yd FG by junior Don Vickers. Vicker's field goal shattered the Hawkinsville record for longest field goal which was held jointly by Jay Wood (1981 vs. Bleckley Co.) and his older brother Gregg Vickers (Turner Co. 2008) at 36 yards. The Devils took a lead in the second quarter on a 4th and 1 quarterback sneak from the 2 yard line to make it a 10-6 game. The Patriots came right back and Marshall found Nate Moorhouse open by "2 inches" in the end zone for the TD as a Devil defender was just "1/2 second" late on the coverage. The Patriots led 13-10 with a minute left before intermission. After the kickoff, Forrest sprinted 18 yards on first down to put the Devils near midfield and with approximately 40 seconds left. The Devils moved into Patriot territory in the waning seconds. Going against the wind and being just out of Vickers' range for a FG with under ten seconds to play, the Devils went for the end zone. And that is when lightening in the form of Nick Marshall struck. He picked off the pass near the five yard line and sprinted 95 yards on a weaving, cut back type of run to give the Patriots a 20-10 halftime lead. More importantly, it took the wind from the sails of the Devils. It is one of the oldest cliches in sports but it is worth repeating one more time -- "great players make great plays in big games". Marshall did that for his team.

The second half saw the two teams battle back and forth with neither able to sustain any long drives though both had their moments. The Devils got the break they needed in the 3rd quarter. With the Devils forcing a punt and with punt block being called by the staff, a muffed snap gave the Devils field position inside the Patriots 30 yard line. However, the Devils could not cash in. Midway into the 4th quarter Tyrell Miller sprinted 68 yards for a TD and make the final score 26-10.

The Devils defense fought hard against the high octane passing attack of the Patriots. They forced Marshall out of the pocket many times and in the process forced him into 3 interceptions. The Devils also recovered a fumble. Unofficially, Marshall finished with just over 100 yards passing on a night that saw him complete 15 of 28 with 2 TD passes. The Devils were led by guess who -- you got it -- Fabian Forrest with 21 carries for 118 yards -- and as stated earlier these are all unofficial statistics pending review of tape. Eddie Griggs, Tevin Wilcox, and Tyler Forrest all had interceptions for the Devil defense. The difference in the game was the speed of the Patriots and in particular their defense in my opinion. They prevented any really long gains which forced the Devils to make long drives and we were unable to cash in other than the one TD in the 2nd quarter.

The Devils are still in full control of the destiny. They do not need any help -- other than their own -- to make the playoff for the first time since 2006. If the Devils win out, they will have clinched 3rd place in the region behind Twiggs and Wilcox. The table is set and it is time for the Devils to "grab a chair and sit a spell"!! Last night's loss was tough for the Devils, no doubt. But the ultimate goal is a return to the state playoff and that should be reason enough for the Devils to put this behind them and get ready for the Trojans of Telfair County.

See you at Bobby Gentry Stadium next Friday night!

Go Big Red!!

by Andy Hill - 10/24/09

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