Falcons knocked off perch by Devils

Falcons knocked off perch by Devils
South Fulton knocked Lake County from its perch on Friday evening.
The Red Devils — in need of wins to pad their playoff resume — claimed the program’s signature victory of the campaign at Bill Wray Field, a 40-34 triumph over the No. 5 (Class A) Falcons.
“It was a huge win for us against a very good football team,” said SF head coach Kelly Spivey, who was revealed in the media as co-interim principal at both South Fulton High and Middle School earlier in the day. “They’re one of the more talented teams we’ve faced this season.
“I attribute a big portion of this victory to winning the turnover battle. Tonight, we recovered three fumbles and got an interception. All season long, I’ve stressed how important winning the turnover battle is for us. We did tonight and look at how it worked out.”
While on the subject of how things work out, it should be noted that the Red Devils (5-2, 2-2 in District 14A) are probably a victory shy of locking up a playoff berth.
SF travels to Reidland, who the county locals routed 47-21 last season, this Friday.
“We’ve been taking it a game at a time for a few weeks now and that’s how we have to look at the rest of the season,” Spivey said. “Reidland is much-improved and I expect they’ll be looking for some revenge for the way we handled them last season.”
On Friday, the Falcons — who lost to South Fulton 27-9 a year ago — may have been out for retribution as well, but it was not to be.
Red Devil sophomore defensive back Khiry Lewis made sure of that on the final play of the game, batting down a Sam Hays’ pass intended for Rafael Tyler as time expired.
The final do-or-die down was set up after Lake County (5-2, 1-2 in 14A) marched from its own 40 to the South Fulton 15 in the final three minutes.
The last LC drive began just moments after South Fulton senior Chance Barnes dashed 34 yards for what turned out to be the game-deciding touchdown.
“It’s a fitting end to a rollercoaster week for me,” Spivey said. “I told the boys tonight that it has been so emotional that I’m about ready to cry.”
The Red Devils began Friday’s contest with smiles all around against the state-ranked Falcons.
SF struck for the game’s first two TDs, holding a 14-0 lead with 10:31 remaining before intermission.
The initial South Fulton touchdown came when Lewis broke a couple of tackles and sprinted 55 yards to paydirt after J.P. Fowler picked off a Hays’ aerial in the first quarter.
The play call of the second SF score was a Barnes’ sweep, which stretched eight yards to paydirt.
Cody Tatum booted point-after kicks through the uprights after both scores.
Down 14-0, LC finally woke up and reeled off 20 consecutive points.
Hays connected with Rafael Tyler for a 41-yard touchdown with 9:22 to go before intermission. The Falcon quarterback also snuck in from a yard out with 49 ticks remaining in the first half to tie the game.
In the third quarter, Lake County fullback David Keefe bulled in from two yards out to cap a seven-play, 60-yard drive and give the host team a 20-14 advantage.
The lead was short-lived as SF struck for two more touchdowns before the third quarter was complete.
Tatum took in both of those scores — the first from three yards out with 4:37 remaining in the quarter and the other a seven-yard trip to the endzone with 3:30 left in the third.
After three quarters, South Fulton was ahead 26-20.
Keefe’s second TD of the contest put LC back up with 11:56 to go in the fourth, but Fowler did the honors on a five-yard score to tip the scale back in the Red Devils’ favor.
Lake County’s last six-pointer came with 5:01 left in the game as Keefe busted through for a six-yard touchdown.
Defensively, Fowler had a team-best eight tackles for SF, while Taverius James and Tatum each accounted for seven stops.
Fowler also recovered a fumble as did Tatum and Ryan Moore.

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