The excitement was in the air Friday night at Lakewood Stadium as Stephenson and Mays squared off for the Region 6-5A championship. Each team couldn’t wait to kick the game off as matters escalated during pregame warmups as both teams exchanged words, smack talk and noise in advance of the opening kickoff.
After a scoreless first quarter, Stephenson opened the scoring with a 29-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Mays would drive right back down the field yet missed a 30-yard field goal attempt. Stephenson then marched 80 yards in 16 plays (14 rushing plays) capped by a Trestan Kinsler 4-yard touchdown run to put Stephenson up 10-0. That score held until halftime.
Mays opened the second half with a 22-yard field by Trenton Jamison to pull the Raiders within 10-3. After forcing a three-and-out Stephenson’s punt went for minus-2 yards to their own 18. Two plays later BJ Phillips hit Randrecous Davis for an 18-yard touchdown pass however the extra point was blocked leaving the score 10-9 with just over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The defensive battle continued the remainder of the game, fittingly it was the defense that won the game in the end for Stephenson. After Stephenson punter Justin Smith mishandled the snap, Mays took over with just over one minute remaining in the game at the Stephenson 25 with no timeouts. Mays was unable to use the miscue as the Stephenson defense, led by Michael Pitts, Aaron Sterling and Amari Andrews, recorded three of the Jaguars 10 sacks on Mays’ final possession including a fourth down sack by Amari Andrews on the games final play sealing the victory and first region championship since 2009. the 10 sacks were the most Mays allowed in a game this season.
Stephenson enters the playoffs 9-1 without a loss a Georgia opponent, as the Region 6-5A top seed and will host Rome in the first round. Mays (9-1) is the No.2 seed will host Creekview in the first round of the playoffs.