Lovejoy 24, Alpharetta 23

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Jordan Collier returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown and broke up a potential go-ahead two-point conversion with 27 seconds left, helping No. 4 Lovejoy escape with a 24-23 win at Alpharetta.

The Wildcats (2-1) forced eight turnovers, including two interceptions from Collier, to bounce back from last week’s loss to Colquitt County.

All five Alpharetta fumbles occurred in Lovejoy territory, with two of Vito Priorie’s three interceptions coming at the goal line. Priore, making his first varsity start, threw for 429 yards, but his last pass on the two-point conversion fell incomplete, ending a wild game.

Elijah Burnette scored two short touchdown runs in the second half, including a 1-yard plunge with 27 seconds to play. The Raiders converted two fourth downs on the drive, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

Alpharetta (1-2) jumped out to a 7-3 lead on a 22-yard pass from Priorie to Lem Cobbs and was threatening at the Lovejoy 6. But Collier jumped in front of a Priorie pass at the goal line and raced 100 yards to give the Wildcats their first lead.

Lovejoy extended its lead to 24-7 on Jeremiah Kirkland 1-yard touchdown run and a 9-yard touchdown pass from Quintarius Neely to Brandon Knight and seemed to be in control, leading 24-10 at halftime. But the Wildcats wouldn’t score again.

Alpharetta got back in the game on its first possession of the second half. Priorie’s 54-yard pass to Andre Harton set up a Burnette 1-yard touchdown run, cutting the Lovejoy lead to 24-17 early in the third quarter.

The Raiders drove inside the Lovejoy 10 three more times, but two of the drives ended with turnovers.

Priore completed 27 of 50 attempts with a touchdown and three interceptions.

Lovejoy quarterback Quintarius Neely completed 11 of 24 passes for 172 yards.

Lovejoy 17 7 0 0        — 24

Alpharetta 7 3 7 6       — 23

A – Lem Cobbs 29 pass from Vito Priore (Thomas Waller kick)

L – Jamie Nunez 33 field goal

L – Jamie Collier 100 interception return (Nunez kick)

L – Jeremiah Kirkland 1 run (Nunez kick)

L – Brandon Knight 9 pass from Quintarius Neely (Nunez kick)

A – Waller 29 field goal

A – Elijah Burnette 1 run (Waller kick)

A – Burnette 1 run (pass failed)

16 comments Add your comment

Colquitt Fan

September 13th, 2013
10:24 pm

Sounds like Alpharetta gave Lovejoy the game. 8 turnovers wow


September 13th, 2013
11:01 pm

@ Colquitt Fan == We should have lost !


September 13th, 2013
11:23 pm

That’s the way it goes sometimes. You know the old saying, “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good”!…….. :-)


September 13th, 2013
11:30 pm

We were lucky. A very ugly game. The article does not mention our 3 turnovers, 2 fumbles and an interception that the Db fumbled right back to us when he got hit. I think the officials tried to give it to them and they almost did.

Lovejoy, as I stated earlier, after the Colquitt game, our Db’s need work. Their qb threw for over 400 yards. That is not acceptable. We have work to do. We will take the win.


September 13th, 2013
11:41 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong here…but wouldn’t Alpharetta have won this game if they made the 2 point conversion?? Read what the first sentence of the right up says. The box score says 6 points scored in the 4th by Alpharetta. Also, I’ve never heard of a game where ONE team has 8 freakin turnovers…is that a typo? Vito is a baller and he’ll do a lot of damage this season.


September 13th, 2013
11:42 pm


September 14th, 2013
12:04 am

@ NGHS09 == You are not wrong. We got lucky. It never should have been this close. Our receivers dropped 7 passes in their hands. Just ugly.

On top of that, the ref’s treated it like it was 80 lbs. Pop Warner. Flag after flag after flag. Not one sided, but both ways. I am sure the Raider fans were scratching their heads just as we were on certain calls.

Lovejoy sacked Vito on 4th down at about the 20. Here comes a flag from a ref at the goal line. Face mask. Automatic first. In comes the back up Qb, who gets stopped at the goal line and spins and tries to reach the ball over the line, it is knocked free, Lovejoy has it. Wrong, Touchdown Alpharetta.

Can’t blame the refs. We were out played in the second half. It was 24-7 at the half. We did not do much after that. Credit the D for saving it.

I speak truth

September 14th, 2013
1:48 am

Sounds like Lovejoy is not the same as last year and Alpharetta is better than expected. 7 turnovers in your side of the field 2 at the goal line if either one goes for a fg. This is a completely different post. But sounds like both kids fought hard and to that I say congrats.


September 14th, 2013
6:05 am

Lovejoy was incredibly lucky to win this. Alpharetta kicked a FG in the 1st half and the kicker was roughed so the coach took the points off the board and went back on the field where Vito threw a 100 yd INT for a 10 point swing on 2 plays. Lovejoy offense did nothing all night but one long drive and one short one after turnovers. If AHS doesn’t turn it over 5 times in the red zone this would have been a rout.


September 14th, 2013
7:08 am

@NGHS 09 — My bad. You’re totally correct. Should have read go-ahead two-point conversion. Crazy game, crazy ending. My mistake. Thanks for pointing that out. Have corrected. — DP


September 14th, 2013
7:12 am

Hey Mr.David Purdum Jordon Collier didn’t break up the 2 pt. conversion with 27 secs left. It was Montrell Custis #21 get your facts straight before you write!!


September 14th, 2013
7:46 am

Alpharetta’s defense played a great game, no points allowed 2nd half. Honestly did not see much of Lovejoy (sorry but not a top ten team) , their offense only scored 17 points (alpharetta had 8 turnovers). Alpharetta QB had a lot of yds passing(miscues on some key int’s), and he is the back up QB, starter did not play as he got hurt last game vs Harrison. Wide receivers had a great game, especially #86. Don’t blame coach going for 2 at the end, went for the win.


September 14th, 2013
8:25 am

@ Raiderfan == That was a mistake by your coach. Never take points off the board. It was a very poorly contested game on both sides. That nothing you speak of was enough, although just barely.

Don’t get the big head in a loss. Lovejoy did not play well. We dropped 7 passes and did not make tackles on several plays that they should have.

Rout, I doubt it.

@ Alphafan == Alpharetta is a decent team. Lovejoy played poorly. We are still a top 10 team with the win but maybe not for long if they do not get it together. Lovejoy scored 24 points, enough to beat you. It does not matter if they were scored by the D or the O.


September 14th, 2013
8:44 am

@Sportsnut – you are right a win is a win, and it does not matter were the points come from. I was expecting more from Lovejoy, and I think so were you. Hope you have a great season, best of luck.

Dekalb Co Guy

September 14th, 2013
10:35 am


Be very careful next week, E Coweta will be another trap game. Those kind of mistakes will get you beat. After next week though, Lovejoy should breeze through the region games though. Maybe Newton will give you a tough one.


September 14th, 2013
1:42 pm

@ AlphaFan == Yes I was expecting more but I did not know what to expect from Alpharetta. I have to give credit where it is due and you guy’s made us sweat. I think you should have won. We have issues.

@ DeKalb Co Guy == I know. East always plays us tough. We have been playing them for quite some time but just got a chance to renew the series with the recent re-alignment. I don’t think we will play the same. I think the coaches learned a thing or two from this game.

We may not be the best team in our region this year. Rockdale is much improved and we all know what Newton did last week in Valdosta. Overall, this region is young and with us, it shows. Every team in the region won last night with the exception of Morrow, who won on Thursday and Druid Hills, who plays at Grady vs Therell tonight.