By Ricky Dimon
A battle of 5-0 teams saw Washington County beat Lovett in overtime on a 28-yard field goal by Jed May. The visiting Golden Hawks were led by running back Malik Jackson, who rushed 19 times for 204 yards and three touchdowns. They finished with 425 rushing yards, in part thanks to a 140-yard effort on 18 carries by A.J. Gray.
Playing with Jack Stevenson at quarterback filling in for injured starter Willie Candler, Lovett led most of the way. The Lions opened the scoring with a 21-yard run by Grant Haley early in the first quarter and Stevenson threw touchdowns to Jonathan Thomas and Will Geraghty en route to 33-31 fourth-quarter advantage. Washington County answered with scoring runs by Jackson, but both extra points failed—including the final attempt with the score tied 33-33 with 3:32 remaining. May’s first of those two extra points was blocked and the second bounced off an upright.
Lovett started the extra frame on offense but only moved backwards from the 15-yard line and was ultimately stopped on 4th-and-20. That set the stage for May’s game-winner. The Golden Hawks moved the ball just five yards in three plays, but it was enough to position May for the game’s final play.
The teams combined for 754 rushing yards, with the Lions racking up 329. Haley carried 10 times for 138 yards while adding his second of two touchdowns with a 76-yard jaunt late in the third quarter. Teammate Jay Harris had 17 attempts for 134 yards. Washington County, which passed for a mere 77 yards, scored all five of its touchdowns on the ground. Jackson got some support from A.J. Gray and Melvin Hill. Gray finished with 140 yards on 18 carries and Hill rushed nine times for 44 yards. Both scored touchdowns—Gray with a 44-yarder in the first quarter and Hill on a two-yard plunge just a few minutes later.