Druid Hills Fights to Final Play in 44-42 Overtime Loss to Salem

Druid Hills receiver Graham Connell (with ball) dives through a Salem defender into the end zone on the first of his two 22-yard touchdown receptions on passes from Sterling Knowles against the Seminoles. (Photo by Mark Brock)

Druid Hills receiver Graham Connell (with ball) dives through a Salem defender into the end zone on the first of his two 22-yard touchdown receptions on passes from Sterling Knowles against the Seminoles. (Photo by Mark Brock)

It took overtime to decide Salem’s 44-42 Region 4-4A win over the Druid Hills Red Devils who had rallied to tie the game with 10 seconds to play at Adams Stadium on Friday night.

In the end Salem’s Willis Sheppard was too much to overcome as the Seminoles (1-5) running back rushed for 213 yards and four touchdowns, including a 13-yard run for the TD in the opening of overtime. Sheppard converted the two-point conversion as well to put Salem up 44-36.

Druid Hills overcame a pair of big fourth downs in overtime to pull within 44-42 on Sterling Knowles seven-yard touchdown pass on fourth and goal that found Max Nunnally in the back of the end zone. Knowles dropped back to pass on the two-point conversion play, but Salem’s Jadon Powell got to him for a sack to end the game.

Salem led by as much as 30-21 on a one-yard touchdown run by Jacoby Lawson with 8:26 to play in the third quarter. The two-point try was no good.

A 13-yard punt late in the third quarter gave Druid Hills a scoring opportunity and on the first play of the fourth quarter Knowles found Graham Connell for a 22-yard score, the second on the night for the pair. Max Nunnally added the PAT to make it 30-28 in favor of Salem.

Druid Hills Jeramiah Kemp (22) comes up with a big sack against Salem's Daniel Scott (7). (Photo by Mark Brock)

Druid Hills Jeramiah Kemp (22) comes up with a big sack against Salem’s Daniel Scott (7). (Photo by Mark Brock)

Salem looked to put the game away with 2:04 to play as Sheppard scored on a five-yard run to make it 36-38. The PAT failed to give life to the Red Devils (2-5).

Facing second and 10 on the Salem 30 Druid Hills tried a reverse pass, but Connell had to pull the ball down and run. Connell scrambled from the left side around the right end coming up just short of the goal line on a 29-yard run with 13 seconds to play.

Nunnally got the ball in the end zone on a one-yard sneak to make it 36-34 with 10 seconds to play. Celeste Birorimana got the two-point conversion as he bulled into the end zone to tie the game at 38-38 to send the game into overtime.

Birorimana finished with 76 yards rushing, a 29-yard touchdown run and the big two-point conversion on 13 carries for Druid Hills. Knowles was 13 of 27 for 125 yards and three touchdowns including a 59-yarder to Shareef Jackson. Connell finished with 11 catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns.

M.L. King 18, Lovejoy 12
The Martin Luther King Jr. Lions bounced back from a loss to Stephenson last week to rally for an 18-12 overtime victory against the Lovejoy Wildcats at Godfrey Stadium to move into a second-place tie with Stephenson in Region 4-6A.

Michael Fearn was the go-to guy for the Lions in the game due to the season ending injury to the Lions exciting playmaker Jacobi Haynes in the loss to Stephenson. Fearn rushed for 195 yards on 36 carries and three touchdowns for the Lions (5-1, 3-1) against the Wildcats.

Lovejoy was leading 12-6 at the half and held that lead for most of the second half until Fearn broke loss for a 15-yard touchdown run with about three minutes left in the game. King went for two, but missed and neither team could manage a score before regulation ended.

Lovejoy got the ball first in the overtime period and King defensive lineman Keion Cush came up big in the first series with two tackles for a loss to force the Wildcats into a field goal attempt. The kick was no good and all the Lions needed for a big win was a score of any kind.

Fearn’s number was called on three straight running plays of nine, four and then for the two-yard touchdown to put the Lions in the victory column.

Cush finished the game with 10 total tackles, 2 sacks and 5 tackles for a loss. Linebacker Antravious Slatter finished with 10 tackles, 1 sack and 3 tackles for a loss as the Lions shut down Lovejoy in the second half and overtime.

Stephenson 42, Forest Park 0
The Stephenson Jaguars improved 6-1 overall and 3-1 in Region 4-6A by cruising to a 42-0 win over Forest Park (1-6, 0-4) to move into a second-place tie with Martin Luther King Jr.

Deondre Jackson had a three-yard touchdown run and Quashaun Johnson ran in from one-yard out to give the Jaguars a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter. Emmanual Rios hit both of the PATs.

Trevon Ferrell scored on a 38-yard touchdown pass play as the lead went to 21-0 on Rios’ third PAT of the game with 11 minutes left in the first half. Isaiah Screen would add touchdown runs of one and two yards in the second quarter as the Jaguars rolled to a 35-0 lead at the half.

Thursday, Oct. 10 – Week 8
Cedar Grove (5-2) 60, Towers (2-5) 0

Parkview (5-1) 69, Lakeside (0-7) 0

Friday, Oct. 11 – Week 8
Salem (1-5) 44, Druid Hills (2-4) 42

Douglass (6-1) 60, McNair (0-7) 7
M.L. King (5-1) 18, Lovejoy (4-3) 12

Social Circle (2-4) 20, Clarkston (0-7) 18
Stephenson (5-1) 42, Forest Park (1-6) 0

Morrow (3-4) 19, Tucker (4-3) 14
Tift Co. (3-4) 41, Miller Grove (0-6) 0
Lovett (5-2) 46, Stone Mountain (1-5) 32

Open: Arabia Mountain (1-5), Chamblee (0-5), Columbia (1-5), Cross Keys (0-7), Lithonia (1-5), Dunwoody (2-4), Redan (3-3), SW DeKalb (5-1)

Source: DCSD Athletics

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