Laney had battled all the way back to take a lead, only to see its hopes booted away.
Blake Lucas kicked a 29-yard field goal with 24 seconds remaining as Bleckley County won at Laney, 38-36, Friday night in Region 3-AA play.
“That was tough,” Laney coach Lemuel Lackey said. “It kind of came down to big plays down the stretch.”
The two sides exchanged scoring runs most of the night.
After the Wildcats scored twice late in the first half, the Royals scored three times in the third quarter and Laney put up the first 16 points in the fourth before Lucas’ kick.
Laney (5-3 overall, 4-2 in Region 3-AA) had taken a 36-35 lead thanks to huge plays by running back George Myers and defensive stands.
Despite starting drives at the 20 all night thanks to powerful kickoffs from Lucas, the Wildcats drove 80 yards when they trailed 35-20, completing the drive with a Myers touchdown reception after a tip.
Following a three-and-out hold for the Laney defense, Myers came through again, this time going outside for a 39-yard touchdown.
With a second consecutive successful two-point conversion, the Wildcats went up a point with 7:07 left in the game.
But on the Royals’ final offensive drive, a pass on third-and-long gave Bleckley County one first down before quarterback Tavon Ross took to the ground to get his kicker as close as possible.
“I knew...we just had to get him close enough,” Royals coach Sam Barrs said.
Ross, who had a game-best 188 rushing yards, showed off his running ability early, rushing 45 yards for a touchdown on the first possession in the game to give the Royals (4-3, 4-1) a 7-0 lead.
Later, after both teams had scored touchdowns, Laney was a few minutes away from trailing at the half before the Wildcats scored twice in 92 seconds.
Horatio Keller, who had five catches for 125 yards, got space with the help of a fellow wide receiver before sprinting for a 49-yard score.
Then, with less than two minutes to play in the half, Glen Rodriguez used a couple individual moves to return a punt 85 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-15 Laney at the half.
The wildness of the last few minutes of the first half was dwarfed by the game’s hectic final minutes.
After Bleckey County got the field goal for the lead and Laney quarterback Leo Myers’ last-play heave reached Jeremy Smith but was not close to the end zone.