LaGrange’s second-half surge not enough
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
CARROLLTON – In one of the state’s deepest Class AAAA regions, it was a game both teams desperately needed.
Unfortunately for the LaGrange Grangers (1-3), it was the Central-Carroll Lions walking away with a 13-10 home win last week in the Region 5-AAAA opener for both teams.
LaGrange not only lost the game, but it had a handful of players ejected during an altercation in the first half.
Central-Carroll lost two players during the incident that occurred in the waning moments of the opening half.
LaGrange led 3-0 on a 45-yard field goal by Kaleb Ceja, but Central-Carroll scored a touchdown late in the second quarter to take the lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, the ball landed around the 30-yard line, and it was recovered by a Central-Carroll player.
A fight ensued, and after the officials managed to get things under control, players from both teams had been kicked out.
Central-Carroll kicked a field goal with six seconds left in the first half to take a 13-3 lead, and it had all of the momentum heading to the locker room.
The Grangers regrouped and made a game of it in the second half, though.
After LaGrange stuffed Central-Carroll on a fourth-down attempt, the offense drove 62 yards for a touchdown, with Charles Crawford hooking up with Jordan Ogletree for a 10-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.
Crawford set up that score with a long run for a first down on third-and-21
The Lions got the ball back with a chance to put it away with a couple of first downs, but the Grangers made a stop and forced a punt.
LaGrange took over at its own 29-yard line with three minutes to play, and it needed a field goal to tie it, and a touchdown to grab the lead.
Central’s defense was up to the challenge.
Zack Folds sacked Crawford and forced the ball loose, and he recovered it to all but clinch the victory.
Central picked up a first down with less than 20 seconds left, and the clock ran out.
LaGrange’s defense, as has been the case throughout the season, was up to the challenge once again.
The Lions finished with fewer than 200 total yards, and they averaged a paltry 2.4 yards per run.
In four games, the Grangers have held their opponents to 43 points, and only six of those points have come in the second half.
LaGrange held Callaway, Heard County and Central-Carroll scoreless in the second half.
LaGrange will look for its first region win when it hosts Cedartown on Thursday.