Thomasville Times Enterprise

November 24, 2012

Jackets knocked out

Clint Thompson

WARNER ROBINS — Northside-Warner Robins landed the first punch Friday night in a Class AAAAA second-round playoff game.

Thomas County Central countered.

The Eagles followed with one huget blow after another, highlighted by a 66-yard fumble return in the third quarter that stymied any momentum the Yellow Jackets had.

Central's only turnover was the game-changing play the Eagles needed to turn a close game into a 45-17 rout at McConnell-Talbert Stadium.

Northside will host Tucker in a quarterfinal matchup next week. Central's season ended in the second round for the second straight season.

“We've got a fourth-and-one and a half. We get the first down and the one thing we said we couldn't do, we turned it over right there,” Central coach Bill Shaver said.

Trailing 24-10 at halftime, the Yellow Jackets (9-3) responded in the third quarter with a long drive starting from their 32. Churning out runs of seven and six yards, Central moved the ball into Northside (12-0) territory at the 33. But on fourth down, the Yellow Jackets lost a fumble and Trey Payne recovered it for the Eagles and rumbled 66 yards for a back-breaking touchdown. Instead of a possible 24-17 score, the deficit ballooned to 31-10 and the Yellow Jackets never recovered.

See Saturday's edition for more details.