The Sonoraville Phoenix played host to the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe Warriors on Friday night in a game that was undoubtedly impacted by the rainy conditions. With a win, the Phoenix would have clinched a playoff spot, but LFO had different ideas. The Warriors defeated Sonoraville 27-26.
“We didn’t execute when we needed to,” Pate said. “We didn’t play our best game. We left some plays out there that we should have made. Therefore, we came out on the losing end of it.”
The difference in this game proved to be two missed extra points by Sonoraville (4-4, 3-3 region) that both occurred in the second half. The Sonoraville defense was unable to contain the run attack of LFO. LFO (4-4, 4-2 region) did not bust any huge plays, but they moved the ball enough to earn the victory.
Sonoraville started out the game on the front foot, but LFO’s James Beddington blocked a Phoenix punt and recovered it in the end zone early in the second quarter to tie it at 7-7.
Both teams traded touchdowns from there. With the score knotted at 14-14, Sonoraville had a chance to kick a field goal prior to halftime, but Sonoraville head coach Denver Pate elected to leave his offense out on the field with seconds remaining inside the Warriors’ 5-yard line. The Phoenix were subsequently stuffed on a Brady Lackey quarterback sneak as time expired to keep the score at 14 apiece heading to the locker room.
The third quarter was much of the same as each team scored one touchdown.
With 5:23 left in the fourth quarter, Sonoraville got the ball back on offense down seven in need of a big play. The Phoenix did just that. Lackey hit Brant Bryant, who sprinted down the field, broke a tackle and ran it into the end zone on an 88-yard pass play. However, with a chance to tie, the Phoenix missed a second PAT.
The Sonoraville defense forced a three-and-out only for its offense to turn the ball over on downs on their next drive, and LFO ran out the clock to escape with a 27-26 victory.
Sonoraville has to hope that LFO loses its two remaining region games to North Murray and Calhoun, and the Phoenix themselves have to win out if they hope to reach the playoffs.
Sonoraville travels to Coahulla Creek next week, and LFO hosts North Murray. Both games are next Friday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.