Shaw kept its playoff hopes alive as the Raiders defeated Fayette County 34-23 Saturday afternoon at Kinnett Stadium.
Both teams entered the contest with 2-3 records in Region 5-AAAA and a half-game behind Troup (3-3).
"This was Round 2 of our quest for the playoffs and we won it. Now we need to start work for Round 3 next week and the coaches will be in a couple of hours," said Shaw coach Kyle Adkins.
Round 3 will feature Shaw and Troup at Kinnett Stadium on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. with the winner earning the final playoff berth from 5-AAAA.
Saturday's game featured adjustments by both teams as the Raiders' Chandler Whittlesey did it through the air and the Tigers did it on the ground in the first half.
Whittlesey threw for three touchdowns and 185 yards before halftime, while Tiger halfback Montrell Kelley ran for 119 yards.
"I have to give Fayette County credit. They came up with a running game plan that we had not seen and it took us by surprise," said Adkins.
The Tigers had the lead 8-7 at the end of the first quarter as Kelley broke free and went 65 yards and Tiger quarterback Jason Williams passed to Braylyn Cook for a two-point conversion. That was the first Tiger offensive play from scrimmage as Whittlesey hit a streaking Jakobi Long for an 82-yard TD 12 seconds before.
Whittlesey added TD passes of 39 yards to Long for their second connection and a 28 yard scoring strike to LaVonte Williams.
Kelley added another running touchdown and a two-point conversion to make it 27-16 at the half. Kelley got the ball only five more times for an additional 18 yards in the second half and finished with 138 yards on 19 rushes for the game.
"I can't say enough about the changes we made on defense to stop that running game, it made all the difference," added Adkins.
The roles were reversed in the second half as Shaw used the running game and Fayette County used passes to each score TDs in the fourth period. For Shaw, the top rusher was Desmond Gomilla who had a 17-yard TD in the first half rushing and scored his second with a 9-yard run late in the fourth. Shaw had 270 yards on the ground as six backs got into the game, led by Gomilla with 53 yards.
The Tigers had zero yards passing in the first half but Williams connected on eight of 17 for 106 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted by Johntez Webb on the last play of the game as the Raiders sealed the win.
Saturday at Kinnett
Fayette County 8 8 0 7--23
Shaw 7 20 0 14--34
S-Jakobi Long 82 pass from Charles Whittlesey (Hunter Eaton kick), 5:44
FC-Montrell Kelley 65 run (Braylyn Cook pass from Jason Williams), 5:12
FC-Kelley 2 run (Kelley run), 7:49
S-Long 39 pass from Whittlesey (Eaton kick), 5:48
S-Desmond Gomilla 17 run (Eaton kick), 3:13
S-LeVonte Williams 28 pass from Whittlesey (kick blocked), 0:30
S-Gomilla 9 run (Eaton kick), 3:40
FC-Ashton Jackson 17 pass from Williams (Erik Garduno kick), 0:55
Records: Fayette County 2-7, 2-4 Region 5-AAAA; Shaw 5-4, 3-3. Next: Shaw, vs. Troup, Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Kinnett