ALPHARETTA - The scoreboard didn’t tell the entire story for Douglas County on Friday in the second round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs at Alpharetta.
After the final buzzer sounded at Raiders Stadium on a chilly fall night, the fifth-ranked Tigers saw their season come to an end with a 24-21 loss to Alpharetta.
Disappointed in the end result, but Tigers coach Johnny White was pleased that his team didn’t go down without a fight.
Douglas County dug themselves in an early hole but fought back to take a lead before finally giving way to the Raiders passing attack.
“You can’t shoot yourself in the football against a good team,” White said. “The kids fought hard all night. I don’t have any complaints in that regard.”
After Alpharetta regained the lead on an 8-yard pass play with 3:38 remaining in the game, the team exchanged a possessions.
The Tigers finally got the ball back with 0.5 seconds remaining with the ball on their own 38.
As quarterback Marquise’ Collins broke from the pocket to avoid a sack, he was tackled for a 1-yard gain as time expired and the Tigers season ended.
“We didn’t win but I’m proud of the way my teammates played,” Douglas County running back Uriah West said. “The next class has to accept the grind and continue to work hard. Douglas County football is going up from here.”
Alpharetta will host Coffee, the No. 2 seed from Region 1-AAAAAA, in the quarterfinals next week. Coffee defeated Evans 55-21 on the road to advance.
Douglas County season ends with a 10-2 record while Alpharetta extended it winning streak to 11 games to improve to 11-1 and head to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history.
The Raiders jumped to a 17-0 lead after the first 14 minutes of the contest.
However, Douglas County would fight back to trail 17-14 at the intermission.
“Even being down, I still felt good about this team,” White said. “We made some plays and got back into it.”
An 83-yard by West pull the score to 17-7 with 9:37 remaining in the first half. West would finish the contest with 126 yards rushing.
Collins connected with Dariyan Wiley for a 47-yard touchdown receptions as the Tigers trailed 17-14 with 41 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
“We have to work even harder in the offseason, and cut down on our mistakes,” Tigers freshmen defensive end Jonathan Jefferson said.
“Next year we are coming back for this group of seniors,” Douglas County junior linebacker Josh Slay said. “They are the ones that put us on the map. It was just some little mistakes that cost us.”
The Tigers would finally take the lead when junior cornerback Markell Stephens picked off his second pass of the game and went 35 yards for a touchdowns.
Douglas County would lead 21-17 with 7:20 remaining.
However, Raiders quarterback Matthew Downing would connect with Marcus Hill for a touchdown with 3:38 remaining in the third for what would be the deciding touchdown.
Neither team would score in the fourth, but there were a some fireworks.
Early in the fourth quarter, the game was delayed for almost 10 minutes as a skirmish between the teams broke on the Raiders’ sideline. Senior running back Deon Rainey was tackled out of bounds, which drew a personal foul flag.
A player from each team was ejected as a result before play resumed.