Up for grabs

It’s a jump ball as Great Crossing and Scott County players, from left, Zackarrey Kelley, Xavion Reed, Larmarion McGrath, Oryend Fisher and Logan Jones, do battle Monday.

While football's inaugural “Battle of the Birds” in August exposed the gap between the two programs at present, Monday's freshman showdown between Scott County and Great Crossing was a hint at what we might expect down the road.

High drama and a game of inches, to put it mildly.

Great Crossing was a half-yard away from winning the ninth-grade showdown before SC's Chad Beal recovered a fumble in the end zone. Paul Garner later knocked down two last-minute throws on third and fourth down to seal the Cardinals' 7-6 victory.

Garner was the star of the first half, as well. He had an interception early in the game to set up what was ultimately the game-winning drive, one that took up almost the entire second quarter.

The featured back on that grind-it-out march: None other than Garner, who capped it with a 10-yard touchdown catch from Thomas Feickert.

In the third quarter, Garner tipped a throw into the end zone, and Caden Adams picked it off. That halted a promising GC drive that featured numerous big gains from Daquis Brown.

Kaspen Colbert's fumble recovery and return to the 2-yard line gave the Warhawks control for the rest of the game, however. Gabe Nichols' QB sneak put the Warhawks on the board, but Beal and Adams conspired to stop the all-important two-point pass at the 1.

Colbert's sack of Feickert forced a punt with six minutes to go to set up GC's ill-fated, almost-go-ahead drive. 

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at sports@news-graphic.com.

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