WELLBORN — Previously unbeaten Wellborn suffered a heartbreaking loss at home Friday night, falling 17-14 to Randolph County.
Braxton Daniel nailed a 29-yard field goal in the closing seconds to seal the victory for the visitors.
“We will regroup after this,” Wellborn coach Jeff Smith said following the tough loss.
Smith knows this 3A, Region 6 is still wide open. In fact, it got a little shake-up tonight following a Pleasant Valley loss to B.B. Comer.
Wellborn started the game strong with a punishing rushing attack on their opening drive. The Panthers opened the scoring with a methodical drive that covered 63 yards before Kentrez Hunt ran the ball in from the 2-yard line with 5:26 to go in the first quarter. Brandon Morales Ramirez made the first of his two extra points on the night.
The Panthers led after the first quarter and put together several promising drives in the second quarter that eventually led to stops by Randolph County. Wellborn regained possession of the football with 1:38 remaining in the first half. Following a couple of big receptions by Evan Beadles covering 9 and 25 yards, as well as some tough running from Jett Smith, Wellborn drove the ball inside the 20-yard line and simply ran out of time. Wellborn took a 7-0 lead into the half.
Randolph County would begin the second half in similar fashion to the Panthers opening drive of the game. Following a short kick, the Tigers drove the ball to the 9-yard line and quarterback Damarcus Davis took it in himself with 7:58 to go in the third quarter. Braxton Daniels added the first of his two extra points to tie the game at 7-7. Both teams again traded possessions and both came up empty keeping the game tied headed to the fourth quarter.
The Tigers struck first again in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run from Davis with 7:31 to go making the game 14-7 following the extra point. Wellborn answered by taking possession and driving the ball down and scoring on a 7-yard touchdown run from Calvin Spinks with 2:28 remaining. Following the made extra point, the game again was tied 14-14 with 2:08 to play.
Randolph County drove the ball down to the 23-yard line and complete a huge pass at the 12-yard line with 7.9 seconds to go. Daniel nailed the field goal to seal the victory.
What to know
—Jett Smith accounted for the bulk of the Wellborn offense on the night. He finished with 154 total yards of offense. Smith was 6-of-8 passing for 84 yards and added 70 yards on the ground.
—Kentrez Hunt had 11 carries for 30 yards and a touchdown. Calvin Spinks carried the ball 11 times for 51 yards and added a touchdown as well.
—Wellborn had 158 total rushing yards and Randolph County had 167 yards rushing on the night.
—Randolph County quarterback Damarcus Davis was 6-of-6 passing on the night for 38 yards.
—Wellborn had three penalties on the night for 29 yards, including a costly penalty on Randolph County’s final drive that helped put them in position for a field goal try. Randolph County finished the game with zero penalties on the night.
—Smith, Trey Berry, Christian Figueroa and the entire defense made big plays all night for Wellborn. Figueroa had a huge fumble recovery early in the second quarter that would negate a good drive by Randolph County.
—Wellborn coach Jeff Smith on the game: “Our players gave outstanding effort all night. I truly can’t say enough about how proud I am of their effort all night.”
—Wellborn (7-1, 4-1 in Class 3A, Region 6) will travel to Pleasant Valley (5-2, 3-2) for another big region match-up next week.