ATHENS, Ga. - Had it been the state championship game, Washington-Wilkes coach Frank Vohun said he probably wouldn't have done it.
But as coach of the North all-stars in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association's North-South All-Star game, Vohun figured he and the rest of his coaches would have a little fun Thursday night.
Trailing 9-7 and facing a fourth-and-1 play from the South's 16-yard line with 1:23 left in the game, Vohun gambled.
The South team stopped Bowdon's Lopez Nunn for no gain and killed the North's chances for a comeback victory. The South held on for a 9-7 victory at Georgia's Sanford Stadium.
As Harrison kicker Adam Jones awaited the opportunity to kick the potential game-winning field goal, North coaches figured they could get the first down, run down the clock and bring Davis in for the kick.
"I'd like to think we could have picked up six inches," Vohun said. "We hadn't really done anything (defensively) and the times we kicked it off to them, they had almost ran the dang thing back. So we figured, pick up the first down, then kick the field goal.
"But the kids played hard and it was a good football game."
But for the first three quarters, the South dominated.
Shaw's Chad Spencer kicked a 41-yard field goal on the South's opening possession, and Clinch County's Antonio Jefferson scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 9-0 with 1:17 left in the first half.
Greenbrier quarterback Will Caywood was 2-for-2 on the South's lone touchdown drive, including a 19-yard pass to Wilkinson County's Arquello Mallory. Caywood's pass, which hit Mallory between two defenders, gave the South a first down at 22-yard line.
But a facemask penalty on Mallory moved the ball to North's 17. Five plays later, Jefferson scampered in.
Caywood, who will attend West Georgia, finished the game with 27 yards on 2-of-3 passing.
"This offense was designed totally different than that of Greenbrier's," Caywood said. "I got maybe three passing plays the whole night, but that's all right. This was an all-star game; everybody gets to shine. I would have like to have had a few more turns."
There was little drama until the fourth quarter, when the North put together a 13-play, 88-yard drive and made it 9-7 on Nunn's 2-yard run with 8:39 left.
When it seemed the South all-stars had won, forcing the North into a fourth-and-8 at its own 21 with less than three minutes left, Hart County's Jeff Leard fired a 54-yard pass to Oconee County's Tyson Browning to give the North a first down at the South's 26.
"I kind of got that old feeling of when we were in the state championship game (against Fitzgerald)," said Swainsboro's Brandon Andrews, who led the South in rushing with 66 yards on 17 carries.
Browning garnered the North's MVP honors and Jefferson was the South's MVP.
Washington-Wilkes safety Fred Dunn and Gainesville's Brent Glover led the North in tackles with six apiece.
"It was a tough battle," said Dunn, who will attend Valdosta State. "We came out in the second half playing our hearts out. We just came out a little short."
Washington County's Cory May and Will Lord started for the South all-stars. Swainsboro tight end Kyle Palmer was scheduled to play but didn't dress.
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