Going into halftime with a 31-14 lead, Glynn Academy’s head football coach Rocky Hidalgo told his players all they had to do was take care of the football, and they’d be playing for a state championship next week.
But four costly turnovers in the second half Friday cost the Red Terrors the game, falling 42-38 to Lee County.
Glynn had a chance to get back in the game after giving up the Trojans last touchdown with less than three minutes in the game. Starting on their own 24-yard line, the Terrors drove the ball to the 15-yard line with more than a minute remaining when Lee County gang tackled Caine Crews on the 6-yard line, forcing a fumble.
Crews was unstoppable for much of the game, carrying the ball 30 times for 280 yards and three touchdowns.
But Lee County had its own answer for Crews in the arm of quarterback Jase Orndorff, who threw 26 passes, completing 12 of them for 246 yards and two touchdown passes. He also threw two interceptions in the first half.
The first interception by Patrick Fulton at midfield led to a 9-yard touchdown run by Crews two plays later for a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Lee County responded on the next drive to narrow the lead to 10-6 after a missed two-point conversion. Glynn answered the next drive with another touchdown run by Crews, this one from 9 yards out.
Glynn quarterback Randon Jernigan tossed a 16-yard touchdown to Andrew Delaney on the next drive to give the Terrors a 24-6 lead.
On the next Trojans drive, Hunter Hall intercepted an Orndorff pass. Crews ran his third touchdown of the half on a short run to extend the lead to 31-6 with little more than a minute in the half.
Orndorff drove the team down the field in three plays to cut the lead to 31-14 at halftime.
Lee County took the opening drive of the second half down the field in five plays to narrow the gap 31-21. Glynn responded with a touchdown on its first drive of the half to give the Terrors a 38-21 lead.
After trading possessions, Lee County recovered a Glynn fumble and scored on the next play to cut the lead to 38-28.
Glynn turned the ball over on its next possession. Four plays later, Lee County scored again to close the gap to 38-35.
Lee County scored again after Glynn fumbled on its third consecutive possession with late in the game as it was driving down the field. All Lee County had to do with a little more than a minute remaining in the game was to take a knee and let the clock run out.
After the game, some Glynn players broke down in tears over the disappointing loss.
“I have nothing to say to make you feel better,” Hidalgo told his players. “It hurts. It’s a lesson.”
The loss ended a terrific season for the Terrors (9-4). Lee County (13-1) goes to the Class 6A state championship game in Atlanta on Friday, where they will face Coffee County.