edged Greenville 20-19 Friday night when senior Andrew Brown grabbed a screen passed and danced four yards into the end zone with 49 seconds left on the clock.
The Pennsylvania transplant rushed 11 times for 50 yards and caught four passes for 32.
“Just a simple swing pass,” Brown said of the game winner. “I knew it was coming my way and I was pretty confident I could take it home.”
Greenville came 70 miles from Meriwether County for this game. The single-A team has a 2-0 record, 22 seniors and four consecutive playoff appearances.
Tied 7-7 at intermission, Greenville opened the second half with a roar. On a nine-play, 77-yard drive, sophomore fullback Elijah Amie carried six times for 71 yards. The touchdown was a 10-yarder from McKee to McKee with 6:29 left in the third.
Greenville’s Dorjae Partridge missed the ensuring extra point and the visitors led 13-7.
Minutes later Greenville moved 63 yards on only four plays, but Partridge fumbled on Decatur’s four and the ball bounced into the end zone. Bulldog lineman Ed Henderson smothered the ball and saved a certain touchdown.
Decatur drove 80 yards in 10 plays late in the third quarter. He scored on a four-yard run and Decatur led 14-13 with 9:09 left in the game.
Brown is new to the team, having moved with his family last spring from Allentown, Pa., where he was a highly-recruited lacrosse player. He’s also a wide receiver, cornerback and halfback.
Greenville took less than three minutes to score again. Amie scored on a 28-yard trap play to give Greenville a 19-14 edge with 5:33 remaining. Aimee finished with 178 yards rushing, 154 of those in the second half.
“I would say that’s on me,” said. “In the second half they changed their blocking scheme to open that kid [Aimee] up and I didn’t adjust. We’re gonna have to fix that.”
Basically, Greenville started running opposite Decatur middle linebacker Nic Bentley, who had eight tackles and one assist, but only two tackles in the second half.
In the fourth quarter, with Decatur trailing by five, Bentley stalked the sidelines and exhorted the offense: “Boys, we have plenty of time. This is our game.”
Again Decatur drove 80 yards. The pivotal moment came when sophomore quarterback Davontae Carter threw a 34-yard pass to Terez with 1:30 left, giving Decatur a first down on Greenville’s 24.
Three plays later Brown converted the game-winning screen and the Decatur faithful erupted. Because it was fall break, the stadium crowd was sparse.
On the last play of the game, Greenville quarterback Jamal McKee threw a Hail Mary to Jamil McKee around Decatur’s 20. It was a high-arching rainmaker that had everybody in the stadium holding their breath.
”We knew they were gonna throw to [McKee],” Brown said. “He’s their big gun, and we’d been working on stopping him all week. So we stacked his side. Terez [Cowan] was able to tip the [pass], but the guy out jumped all of us and made a great catch. Fortunately I was right there to knock him out [at Decatur’s 18].”
Carter completed 19 of 21 passes for one touchdown and 166 yards. In his first three varsity starts he’s completed 48 of 66 (73 percent) for 505 yards, an average of 10.5 yards per completion.
His favorite targets on Friday were, as usual, the Cowan twins, who caught 14 passes between them (Perez had 8, Terez 6) for 130 yards.
Decatur and Greenville are both 2-1, with the Bulldogs playing Clarkston next Friday at 5:15 p.m., at Hallford Stadium.
After its 34-6 victory over Towers Friday, Clarkston is 1-3.