March 8, 2021

HCMS football falls to Wildcats in heartbreaking fashion

Some of the eighth grade HCMS football players with coaches after Thursday night’s Championship game at Staples Stadium (Photo courtesy of Chan Holliday)

(Franklin, GA) — The Heard County Middle Braves suffered a heartbreaking upset defeat to the Villa Rica Wildcats in the 2019 West Georgia Small School Championship game played at Staples Stadium Thursday night.

Trailing the Wildcats 16-8 and with just seconds in the game, quarterback Gryson Cockrell sneaked it across the goal line to close the gap to 16-14 pending a conversion attempt.

The Braves completed a pass on the 2-point play but the Brave receiver was tackled just short of the end zone.

Returning from injury, Antwon Carter scored the first TD of the game for the Braves and he also converted the first 2-point attempt to tie the game at 8-8 in the third quarter. The Wildcats led 8-0 at the half.

During the playoffs, Villa Rica defeated two teams they had lost to in the regular season to claim the improbable championship. In the big school final, Central Middle upset Carrollton winning 8-6.

Brave head coach Zack Janney was proud of the effort his guys put forth throughout the season, especially the class of eighth graders who will moved over to HCHS next season.

“I love these eighth grade boys — I am really enjoyed coaching them, and I hated for them it ended the way it did,” said Janney after the game. “These boys will no doubt have success on the high school level and I can’t wait to see them playing on Friday nights.”

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