The Flint River Wildcats have come full-circle since last November’s heartbreaking overtime loss to the Piedmont Cougars in the Region Championship. FRA, boosted by 303 rushing yards from senior tailback Will Couch, won a hard-fought rematch last Friday in Monticello, 28-21, to capture its first Region Championship since 2008.
Couch credited the talented FRA offensive line of Cotney, Tyson, Perdue, Hobbs, Law, Dufresne, and Roberson; saying it was the best blocking he had ever received.
Neither offense could be slowed down at the beginning of the game. The Wildcats took first possession and drove 75 yards for the game’s first touchdown, a one-yard run by senior Jay Adams. Piedmont ran the ensuing kickoff back to the Flint River 37, and scored quickly from there. Undeterred, Flint River responded with another scoring drive, this time ending on a one-yard run by quarterback Seth Short.
The back-and-forth scoring pace ended after the first quarter. Piedmont threw an interception to cornerback, David Chester for the first turnover of the game. However, penalties kept the Wildcats from moving the ball on their next possession.
Piedmont took over mid-way through the second quarter and drove deep into the red zone. A fumble ended that drive on the two-yard line, but the Cats fumbled it right back, and the Cougars capitalized with a touchdown. The failed conversion left Flint River with a slim 14-13 lead. Both offenses sputtered until the half ended.
Piedmont’s first drive in the second half ended on another interception, and the Wildcats marched 75 yards. Will Couch, still battling a leg injury, scored from three yards out to give the visiting Wildcats a 21-13 lead.
Piedmont got a huge break when Couch ran 85 yards and appeared to score, but he fumbled into the endzone for a touchback. The Cougars drove 80 yards to score and tied the game on a two-point conversion. FRA took over with 6:14 left in regulation.
The Wildcats ran the ball on every play on the next drive, with Couch picking up chunks of yardage on each carry. He eventually scored from a yard out to give Flint River the lead back. The Cats finished with 382 rushing yards vs. only 12 passing.
Piedmont took over with 1:19 left in the fourth. They picked up 18 yards on a halfback pass on the first play, but a sack, an intentional grounding penalty and two incompletions sealed the 28-21 win and the Region Championship for Flint River.
Flint River is back home tonight to take on South Georgia Academy in the first round of state playoffs. Kickoff is at 7:30.