The North Georgia Gladiators (4-3) were unable to hold off two fourth quarter drives by the Douglas County (GA) Riverdogs (3-3) as the Riverdogs defeated the Gladiators 20-17.
Mo Issak returned a punt 54 yards to the Riverdogs 9-yard line yet the Gladiators were unable to score a touchdown settling for a Billy Field 27-yard field goal and a 10-6 lead with 12:16 remaining. Douglas County would respond against all odds on their next possession. The Riverdogs were first-and-goal from the Gladiator eight when they were called for holding, had a procedure penalty and loss 22 yards on a bad snap which gave them second-and-goal from the Gladiators 47. Riverdogs quarterback Don Lawson hit Jamario Swinney for 32-yards and again for a touchdown from 15 yards out on the next two plays giving Douglas County their first lead of the game 13-10 with 7:07 in the fourth.
North Georgia would answer that score with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Mo Issak to Chris Crandall to cap an 8-play 70-yard drive by the Gladiators as they retook the lead 17-13 with 3:22 in the fourth. Carlos Ross had 37 yards rushing on the drive which was aided by a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Douglas County. Ross finished with 141 yards rushing on 23 carries leading the Gladiators rushing attack that piled up 264 yards.
Douglas County would not be intimidated. On their next possession Lawson connected with Swinney for 19 yards on a third down-and-thirteen to the Gladiators 45, keeping the drive alive. On the next play Lawson would hit Sean Coley for a 45-yard touchdown on a catch and run. Coley had excellent blocking and picked his way to the end zone over the last 30 yards with 1:27 left for the game-winning touchdown. North Georgia would get into field goal range but a holding penalty forced them to throw a depression heave as time expired on their final possession from the Riverdogs 46 that fell incomplete.
The Riverdogs had 284 yards of total offense mainly through the air as Don Lawson finished 10-20 177 yards 2TD 1INT adding 61 yards rushing. Ken Coley had 4 receptions 90 yards and two touchdowns and Demekus Carmon was 3-5 passing for 48 yards and one touchdown.
North Georgia starting quarterback Joey Vicary left the game with an ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return. Vicary was 3-6 passing 44 yards and one touchdown prior to the injury. Mo Issak filled in for Vicary going 1-6 with one touchdown and two interceptions. Issak rushed for 77 yards and caught a 38-yard touchdown for the Gladiators.
The Gladiators have lost three consecutive games for the first time in franchise history (since 2009) losing to a team that was beaten 64-0 the previous week by the Georgia Bandits. North Georgia will host the Paulding Patriots next week looking to snap the losing streak.