CRAWFORDVILLE — Four minutes into the second half Friday, Suwannee High was on the verge of tying top-seeded Wakulla.
But facing second-and-goal inside the War Eagles’ 1, an errant snap wiped out the Bulldogs’ chance for the tying touchdown and it was all downhill from there for SHS.
“Bad call on my part,” Suwannee coach Kyler Hall said after the Bulldogs lost 41-10 in the Region 1-5A quarterfinal in a steady rain at Jerry Reynolds Field at J.D. Jones Stadium. “We should have gone under center. We had driven down the field, was worried about changing things up after we’d gone down the field. But we should have gone under center and tied things up.
“Bad call on me. The guys had busted their tails.”
Following the snap which skidded past Tyree Taylor low and to the left, Taylor threw incomplete on third down to set up Braxtyn Green’s 29-yard field goal to pull SHS within 14-10 of Wakulla.
Four plays later, the 11-0 War Eagles led 21-10 following a 24-yard Jakari Ervin touchdown run.
The Bulldogs, whose season ends at 5-6, quickly drove back down the field behind runs from Jaquez Moore, DeMarius Thompson and Tyree Taylor. But a fumble on second down followed by a penalty led to Denzel Miller picking off Taylor on third-and-long.
That miscue, Suwannee’s first turnover, led to another Wakulla score — a 13-yard run from quarterback Jaylon Worsham — and a 28-10 lead in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
The War Eagles, who rushed for 350 yards and amassed 402 yards total, tacked on two more scores in the fourth with Jordan Bolden scoring from 35 yards out and following another Miller interception, Brendan Wilson scored on a 1-yard run with barely a minute remaining.
“They’re tough and they’re very good at what they do,” Hall said. “They’re a good team, they’ve been here before and they’re undefeated this season.”
Bolden, who rushed for a game-high 152 yards on 15 carries, gave Wakulla its first lead with a 4-yard scoring run with 3:18 remaining in the first quarter.
Suwannee responded with a nine-play drive, consisting of all runs. Moore, who led the Bulldogs with 113 yards on 15 carries, converted a third-and-11 with a 14-yard keeper to spark the drive. Taylor then finished it two plays into the second quarter with a 2-yard run that tied it at 7. Taylor rushed for 48 yards as Suwannee churned out 236 yards on 49 carries. Thompson added 75 on 11 totes.
Wakulla, though, had an answer with its own strong rushing attack as it converted a fourth down try and two third-and-longs — both times Worsham scrambling for enough yards to move the chains.
He then scored his first touchdown from 7 yards out with 7:19 remaining in the half to put Wakulla ahead for good at 14-7. Worsham finished with 136 yards rushing on 15 carries, while also completing 4-of-12 passes for 52 yards.
“The quarterback is a big time playmaker,” Hall added.
After Suwannee moved into Wakulla territory, a penalty helped stall the drive and Wakulla quickly moved deep into Bulldog territory with 18-yard completions to Miller and Ervin. However, with 40 seconds left before halftime, Keiwan Ladler intercepted Worsham to thwart the scoring opportunity and keep Suwannee close at halftime.