DOUGLAS -- Friday's game between Thomas County Central and Coffee could be the game of the year in south Georgia. Unfortunately for the Yellow Jackets, they came up on the short end of the stick when Doug Pilcher's 4th-and-goal pass fell to the ground in overtime to give the Trojans a 28-21 win at Jardine Stadium.
The Jackets rallied from a 21-7 halftime deficit and tied the game 21-21 with 8:56 remaining in regulation when Phillip Prather busted up the middle for a 16-yard touchdown run.
Both teams squandered opportunities to win. Neither offense could punch in the winning score in regulation.
The Trojans had the first opportunity following Prather's touchdown. They drove 76 yards on 16 plays down to the Jackets' 4, but the Central defense tightened and forced the Trojans to line up for a 21-yard field goal with 55 seconds left.
The Jackets' Jamie Wyche came off the end, though, and blocked Lindsey Hopson's attempt and Demetrius Newkirk picked the loose ball up and returned it to the Central 29.
Central then moved the ball down the field as Doug Pilcher connected with Tyler Newberry for 23 and 14 yards. The second completion to Newberry put the Jackets on the Trojans 28 with 23 seconds left.
Pilcher missed most of the game due to a hip flexor injury but came back for that final drive.
But on the next play, he tried going for the win and launched a pass toward the goal-line that was picked off by the Trojans' Maurice Hall, forcing the extra period.
The Jackets won the overtime toss and elected to defer, giving the Trojans the first chance to put points on the board. They responded by punching the ball into the end zone when Rakale Ekpene flipped over a pile and landed in the end zone.
The score didn't come without controversy. The Jackets forced Coffee into a 3rd-and-goal from the 5. Quarterback Daniel Anderson attempted a pass to Demetrius Williams in the end zone, but it was broken up by Dontavia Bogan. The officials, though, thought Bogan made contact with Williams too early and flagged him for interference.
"I got to see the film, but they murdered us over the middle a couple of times and there was no call," Thomas County Central head coach Ed Pilcher said. "The defender has every right to go for the ball."
Ekpene's touchdown put the pressure on the Jackets' offense. But it looked like it was going to respond.
On Central's first overtime play on offense, Prather rumbled 11 yards down to the Trojans 4. But that was as close as the Jackets would get to scoring.
They committed two consecutive false start penalties that pushed them outside the 10.
After three runs put them near the 5, they were penalized for a delay of game.
"Three penalties in the overtime," Pilcher said. "We self-destructed."
The loss was a tough pill for Pilcher to swallow. The Jackets looked as if they figured out the Trojans running game in the second half.
The Trojans ripped off 199 yards on the ground and three touchdowns in the first half. But couldn't get much going in the second until the overtime.
"We weren't doing what we were supposed to do in the first half," Pilcher said. "(The coaches) make the calls, but we can't tackle for them. We didn't do that."
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COVID-19 vaccine survey
Graveside services for Amanda Walker Hall will be held Friday June 25, 2021 at 6PM in Laurel Hill Cemetery. Amanda passed away on July 25, 2020 in Roswell. She was the daughter of the late Margaret and Donnie Walker. Amanda was a graduate of Thomasville High School. She is survived by her da…