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The Journal
Weekly Newspaper covering Marion, Schley, Chattahoochee, Webster, and Stewart Counties.
71 Webb Lane, Buena Vista, GA 31803 • Phone & Fax: 229-649-6397 • Email: tjournal@windstream.net

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Dooly County players try in vain to block the winning field goal by A.J. Wells as Eagles, from left,
Daryl Ragland, Thomas Hadley, Michael Tyler, Dustin Pickren, and Lonnie Taylor provide protection.
CLICK HERE to view a special slideshow from the quarter-final victory. CLICK HERE for a Photo Gallery.
Marion downs Dooly to advance to Semi-Finals
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From the Dec. 4, 2013 issue of The Journal.
By Richard Harris

   Marion County and Dooly County have played many close and exciting games in recent history, but none of them match the Eagles’ 24-21 victory last Friday in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.

   The teams swapped big plays and big hits from the start and found themselves deadlocked at 21-21 with less than five minutes left in the game. However, instead of having equal odds, the Eagles know from experience that All-American kicker A.J. Wells gives them the upper hand (or foot) in such close games.

   With time running out, they drove deep into Bobcat territory where Wells kicked a 23-yard field goal with 45 seconds left on the clock to give the Eagles the win.

   “It was a game with two good teams and a lot on the line,” said MCHS Head Coach Mike Swaney. “We both played as hard as we could, but we were able to come from behind and win it. I am proud of all of our guys. It was a tremendous effort by our players.”

   The Eagles trailed 21-14 with only 6:11 left in the game. That’s when Dooly County made its first big mistake of the night. They had been kicking and punting the ball away from dangerous return man Lorenzo Smothers, but after scoring to take a 7-point lead they kicked off in his direction.

   “On that last kickoff we moved Lorenzo over from where he had been before and I don’t think they noticed,” said Swaney.

   Smothers responded by returning the kickoff all the way to the 50-yard line as Eagle Stadium erupted with cheers from frenzied fans who could sense the home team was ready to make a comeback.

   Quarterback Dustin Eckert then ... Online subscribers click here for the rest of the story.