Friday night drama: McIntosh 28, Fayette County 25
The blazing 90-degree heat of August gave way Friday night to the start of another high school football season, and as the 2014 schedule would have it, the two oldest high schools in Fayette County squared off in the season’s first game.
It was the visiting team, the McIntosh Chiefs, getting the first win of 2014 with a come-from-behind 28-25 victory over the Fayette County Tigers.
As one might expect in a season opener, there were plenty of penalties and turnovers, at least far more than the coaches want to see. But the opening minutes produced some big plays as well.
The highlights began with about nine and a half minutes left in the first quarter, when McIntosh quarterback Duke Kinamon found Josh Ange open over the middle on third-and-23 and the result was a 66-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead.
The Chiefs threatened late in the period by driving into FCHS territory, but JeTorren Snellings snagged an interception for the Tigers at their own 15. On the very next play, the final play of the quarter, Daveion Nash connected with Desmond Fletcher on a short sideline pass on the left side. Fletcher broke one tackle and it was off to the races, an 85-yard score to pull the Tigers within a point.
McIntosh made the most of their next possession, putting together a lengthy drive that ended with another Kinamon-to-Ange scoring play, this time a toss into the right corner of the end zone from 11 yards out. The extra point made the score 14-6.
But not for long. Snellings took the ensuing kickoff and sped 86 yards to the end zone with 6:51 to go before halftime. On a later possession the Tigers faced third-and-9 at their own 41 when Nash threw a screen pass to Robert Easterwood, who caught the ball near the right sideline and cut back all the way across the backfield to the left, eluding defenders all the way to the Chiefs’ 15.
Montrell Kelley took the handoff on the next play and bolted up the middle for a touchdown to give Fayette County a 19-14 lead at the half, to the delight of the home fans.
Snellings picked off another pass inside the Tigers’ 10 to stop a scoring threat. On first down from the 8, Kelley took the ball around the left side and raced down the sideline to the Chiefs’ 45. Two plays later he took the ball 22 yards to the 18.
On third-and-8 from the 16, Nash kept the ball, rolled out to the right and went into the end zone untouched. That gave the Tigers a 25-14 advantage with 4:50 left in the third quarter.
McIntosh took the ball across midfield on its next possession, and Kinamon’s pass to Chandler Birrell was good enough for a 43-yard gain to the Tigers’ 3. Ange took it home from there on a run up the middle to cut the deficit to 4.
The Chiefs got the ball back to start the fourth quarter, and they regained the lead on a 21-yard scoring pass from Kinamon to Ange with 7:07 to go. It was Ange’s fourth touchdown of the night.
The McIntosh defense held and forced a punt, after which is was just a matter of holding on to the ball and getting two first downs. The last one, on fourth-and-2, came with 10 seconds left and clinched the win.
The Chiefs host Luella next Friday, while the Tigers travel to Clayton County for a Thursday night game against Drew.