Trey Wiggins kicked his third field goal of the day to give Heard County a 16-13 overtime victory over Spencer Saturday afternoon in the Region 5-AA finale for both teams at Kinnett Stadium.
It was a game of two halves as Heard County dominated with the running game in the first half to jump ahead 13-0. Spencer came back and scored 13 points in the third period to tie the game.
“We are a second-half team and have been all year but against a good team, you cannot keep falling behind,” said Spencer coach Pierre Coffey after the game. “I have been preaching to our kids, you cannot keep doing that.”
In the fourth quarter, Spencer actually had a chance to win in regulation, getting the ball down to the 4 on a first-and-goal, but three running plays lost a total of 3 yards. Spencer elected to go for the winning TD, but the pass was incomplete.
“Kicking is not our forte, and I felt that going for it was our best chance of winning. We missed an extra point after the second touchdown, so if we hit that, we don’t have overtime, but that’s the way it is,” Coffey said.
In the OT, halfback Mike Holmes came in to play defense and intercepted Spencer’s Khalil Thomas. That gave Heard County a chance and Wiggins split the uprights after the Greenwave held the Braves out of the end zone on their offensive series.
With the loss, Spencer finished in a three-way tie for second in the region with Heard County and Lamar County at 3-2. Through multiple tiebreakers, Spencer ended up as the fourth seed. The Greenwave will play at Pepperell on Nov. 11 in the first round of the state playoffs. Pepperell won Region 7.
If Spencer had won the game, it would have finished second and hosted a playoff game for the first time in 49 years. This is the second year in a row that Spencer has made the playoffs.
Key Play: After Cory Calhoun scored the tying TD on the last play of the third period, Jalen Taylor’s extra point was wide.
Difference Maker: Cory Calhoun scored both TD’s for Spencer. He caught three passes for 38 yards and a TD and ran three times for 26 yards and a second touchdown. Heard County-Mike Holmes had 25 carries for 110 yards and the only Brave touchdown and the overtime interception.
Individual Stats: Spencer- Jaleel Grimes 13 carries for 85 yards, Jaharee Mons, 10 carries for 46 yards, Seth Jordan six catches for 50 yards. Khalil Thomas 5 carries for 4 yards, 12 completions on 18 attempts for 115 yards and a TD, 2 interceptions.
Player’s Quote: “If I can use my speed to turn the corner, I am gone. I really don’t know how I broke the tackle on the pass reception for the TD, I just stretched for the goal line,” said Spencer’s Calhoun after the game.
Saturday afternoon at Kinnett
HC-Mike Holmes 36 run (Trey Wiggins kick), 8:04
HC-Wiggins 30-yard field goal, 1:42
HC-Wiggins 34 yard field goal, 6:48
S-Cory Calhoun 26 pass from Khalil Thomas (Jalen Taylor kick), 2:42
S-Calhoun 6 run (kick failed), 0:00
HC-Wiggins 27-yard field goal, 0:00
Records: Heard County 7-3, 3-2 Region 5-2A. Spencer 6-4, 3-2. Next: Spencer, at Pepperell, Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m.