As two of the top teams met last night in Region 5-AAAAAA action, it was No. 2 Mays that overcame Alexander on the road for a 34-24 win to clinch the region title.
The visiting Raiders quarterback Nick Hunter connected with Terrence Morton for a 12-yard touchdown to take control of the game in a close contest.
Alexander only trailed by three points (20-17) early in the third quarter. Midway through the second quarter, the Cougars had the lead and looked for the upset at home.
However, Mays took control late in the contest to win its 25th straight region game and secure the top seed in next month’s playoff. The Raider improved to 8-1 overall and 7-0 in the region.
Mays closes the regular season at Northgate, which defeated Langston Hughes on Friday. Alexander host Douglas County with the winner securing the No. 2 seed and a first-round state playoff home game.
Despite Friday’s loss, Alexander quarterback Mason Wood reached a milestone. The senior completed 29 of 40 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown.
He has passed for 4,074 yards during his career. Mason also rushed 12 times for 62 yards and a touchdown in Friday’s game.
The first quarter was highly competitive, both teams were able to score on possessions but Mays’ team speed was on display early and often. Going into the second quarter they held a 12-7 lead. Mid second quarter as Mays was driving down the field, Alexander was able to force a turnover on downs deep in its own territory.
On the ensuing drive, it was Alexander’s Byson Irby who converted a key third down play as well as a fourth-and-goal to give Alexander a 14-12 lead with two minutes to go in the first half.
Mays would respond, however with a drive of their own.
Hunter lead the Raiders on an 88-yard drive culminating with a touchdown pass to Terrence Morton and Mays re-took the lead 20-14. With a little over a minute to go in the first half, Alexander put a drive together that lead them to converting a 45 yard field goal at the halftime buzzer to cut the lead to 20-17.
Entering the second half, both teams failed to gain a rhythm offensively. Mays strung together a drive but missed their field goal attempt, Alexander struggled to move the ball as Mays’ defense was able to get penetration on the offensive line throughout the night.
Early on in the fourth, as Mays’ was driving, Nick Hunter again found Terrence Morton this time for a 12-yard touchdown play and the Raiders went up by 10. In a must-score situation, the Cougars delivered. Quarterback Mason Wood would score on a six-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 27-24 midway through the fourth quarter.
With Mays’ offense returning onto the field, they responded with a long, time-consuming drive that culminated with Tyree Nelson punching in a nine-yard touchdown run to bring the lead back to 10 points with a little over two minutes to go in the game.
Alexander attempted to drive down the field for a quick score, but Mays’ Montileco Edwards sealed the game with an interception.
Mays ran out the rest of the clock and took home the win by a final score of 34-24.