WAYNESBORO, Ga. -- Russell Carter didn't feel too badly about missing the potential game-winning extra point in regulation when he caught the go-ahead touchdown in overtime for Greenbrier.
Wolfpack quarterback Will Caywood was a perfect four-of-four on Greenbrier's first possession in the first overtime period, capping the drive by firing a bullet pass to the wide open Carter for the lead, which propelled the Wolfpack to a 26-25 overtime victory over Burke County.
In a wild contest that saw the two teams combine for 51 points and 835 yards of total offense, the contest produced the region's first overtime game of the year.
Under Georgia High School rules, when two teams go into overtime, both teams play two five-minute halves with one side getting the ball in the first extra period, then the other gets the ball to start the second overtime.
If the game is still deadlocked after overtime, the winner is decided on the deepest penetration.
Carter's touchdown pass gave Greenbrier a 25-19 lead with 1:22 left in the first overtime period. But on Burke's ensuing possession, the Bears marched to Greenbrier's 44-yard line before tossing an interception to kill the drive.
Burke scored on its second possession in the second overtime period, with quarterback Rameriz Crumbley scoring on a 16-yard run with 23 seconds to play. However, the game-winning extra point was blocked by Greenbrier to tie the game at 25.
Had the Bears not let Greenbrier penetrate past their 44-yard line, they would have won the game. But things turned sour when the Bears tried to kick the ball on the ensuing kickoff.
The kick was pooched and the Wolfpack took over at the Burke 49. On the first play of the drive, Caywood hit wide receiver Kent Adcox for a 9-yard gain, which moved the ball to Burke's 40 and gave Greenbrier deeper penetration as time expired.
Under GHSA rules, one point is awarded on the deepest penetration when a game ends in a tie after overtime has been played. The 4 yards' difference in penetration gave the Wolfpack (4-2 overall, 3-1 Region 3-AAAA) a 26-25 victory.
"There was no doubt in my mind that we had to get the ball to Kent Adcox on a little short out pass," said Greenbrier coach Mickey Derrick. "Will got it too him and we had the blocking. Look here, my guys played hard, and we beat a very good Burke County team that may not lose again this season."
Despite getting shredded for 491 yards, including 443 yards rushing, Greenbrier managed to tie the game at 19-all late in the fourth quarter when Caywood hit Nick Wandless on a 36-yard touchdown pass.
But Carter's potential game-winning extra point failed.
"It didn't bother me," Carter said of the missed PAT. "We've got a great team, and I knew we could pull back together. I mean, we pull together when things are down, so I had faith in our team."
Burke County also had it share of chances in the game. With a 19-13 lead in regulation, the Bears drove to Greenbrier's 7-yard line where they had first-and-goal midway through the fourth quarter.
However, two lost yardage plays and an illegal procedure call pushed Burke back to the 13 where they faced fourth-and-goal. Greenbrier blocked Lorenzo Davis' 30-yard field goal attempt, then put together a seven-play, 69-yard drive to tie the game.
"We came out tonight flat and things didn't go to well for us in the first half," said Matt Jackson, who finished the game with six catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
"We went into halftime and decided we needed to pick it up a notch. That's what we did."
The loss keeps the Wolfpack in position for a home playoff game in the first round provided they win the remainder of their games, coupled with a Thomson loss. Burke County, which had won two straight entering the game, fell to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in Region 3-AAAA play.
"We made too many mistakes, the game should have been over in regulation," said Burke County coach Nick Davis. "When you make mistakes against good ball teams that's what happens. We made too many of them and didn't get the job done."
-- Tim Morse
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