The Appling County Pirates sent the Bulldogs of Morgan County packing after a convincing 42-13 opening state playoff victory Friday night at Jimmy Swain Stadium. The Pirates now advance to the second round and will host the game here. Kickoff will be at 7:30 at Jimmy Swain. Appling will play the Upson-Lee Knights, of Thomaston, who defeated Southeast Bulloch last week in the first round.
The Knights finished in fourth place in Region 2-AAA. However, the Knights faced fierce competition in Region 2 from opponents such as Peach County, Crisp County and Central of Macon. Upson-Lee finished the season 7-5 overall and 3-4 in region play. This will be the first-ever meeting between the Pirates and the Knights.
Tickets for Friday’s playoff game may be purchased Monday – Friday at the ACHS front office between 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the ACHS drive thru, Friday afternoon from 3:45 – 5:00 p.m. at the ACHS drive thru, or at the gate on Friday night. Fans are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets prior to Friday night. Tickets are $10.00 per person and the price is set by the Georgia High School Association. Only GHSA passes will be accepted for admittance; no season passes, goal cards or senior citizen passes will be accepted.
Fans are urged to attend the game and cheer our Pirates on to victory. As of press time, The Baxley News-Banner is awaiting word from the GHSA to see if we will have permission to broadcast the game on our Facebook page. Check our Facebook page for more information, possibly on Wednesday.
Appling vs. Morgan recap
Pirate quarterback Keyshawn Walker got the scoring started Friday night when he tucked the ball and darted 49 yards for an Appling County touchdown. Kicker Alex Garcia kicked the PAT to make the score 7-0 at the 8:48 mark in the opening quarter.
Later in the first quarter a Pirate punt attempt was blocked by the Bulldogs and returned back into the end zone for a touchdown. The PAT was good to make the score 7-7 at the 5:33 mark.
Pirate runner Sharode Roberts scored his first touchdown of the night capping a successful Pirate drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. The PAT was blocked and the score at the 3:56 mark in the second quarter was 13-7.
Following an outstanding performance by the ACHS Pirate Brigade during the halftime break, Roberts hit pay dirt again, this time on a 70-yard run. The Pirates went for a two-point conversion and were successful to make the score 21-7 at the 11:35 mark in the third quarter.
At the 1:35 mark in the third, Roberts again scored for the Pirates. He scored from five yards out this time. The Garcia kick was good and the score was 28-7.
Morgan’s offense finally found the end zone when they completed a 25-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was no good and the score was 28-13.
Appling scored in the final quarter of play with 3:45 remaining. Jaylen Johnson found an opening and ran the ball 45 yards for the touchdown. The PAT was good and the score was 35-13.
The final Pirate touchdown of the night occurred when the Bulldogs fumbled and Sharode Roberts picked the ball up and darted 30 yards for the score. Garcia added the PAT to make the final score 42-13.
First downs – ACHS 16, MCHS 11
Rushing – ACHS 40/426, MCHS 34/86
Passing – ACHS 1/5/-8, MCHS 9/18/70
Total offense – ACHS 418, MCHS 156
Penalties – ACHS 5/43, MCHS 4/40
Time of possession – ACHS 24:18, MCHS 23:42
Rushing – Sharode Roberts had 14 rushes for 188 yards, Keyshawn Walker had 9 rushes for 133 yards, Bryson Benton had 7 rushes for 28 yards and Jaylen Johnson had 5 rushes for 67 yards.
Defense – Dennis Mims led all tacklers with 11 total tackles, Tyrell Gibson had 9, Taylan Crosby had 8, Justice Huntley had 5, Jamori Wright had 4, Darris Smith and Tyrone Simmons had 3 each and Jose Martinez, Jaylen Johnson, Jarvis Mims and Malik Rogers had 2 each.