The Heard County Braves outlasted the Darlington Tigers in a battle of unbeatens at Staples Stadium in Franklin Friday night.
The Braves from Region 5-AA held on for the 35-30 win after converting a fourth-and-7 with just over a minute to go in the game to seal the win.
Junior Brave quarterback Maurice Fench found Chief Borders across the middle for the first down and ran out the clock on the Tigers, who outscored the Braves 17-7 in the second half.
The game-winning score came courtesy of Fench on a quarterback run.
The game was tied at 7-7 after the first quarter.
The Tigers took a 13-7 lead early in the second quarter on a 19-yard TD scamper by Will Bagby. The PAT was blocked by the Braves.
The biggest turning point in the contest came late in the second quarter when the Braves scored three times with under two minutes to play in the half.
Following a short Fench TD on the quarterback keeper, the Braves would come up with a fumble recovery by defensive end Nathan McClellan that would lead to another 12 yard score from Fench.
The Braves lead 21-13 with just 26.5 seconds to play in the half when Cedric Ware would scoop up another fumble and rumble all the way down to the Tiger 10 with just 7.6 to play.
Fench connected with Leroy Marsh on the last play of the half to give the home team the 28-13 lead as the two teams went to the locker room.
The Tigers opened the second half with a quick scoring drive that was capped off by Harrison Allen’s second score of the night to close the gap to 28-20.
After the two teams exchanged turnovers, the Tigers converted a short field goal to cut the Brave lead to 28-23 entering the final quarter of play.
The teams exchanged touchdowns in the fourth quarter resulting in the 35-30 win for Heard County.
The Tigers’ final touchdown came on a throwback pass to starting quarterback Patrick Shelley.
Heard County (4-0) will travel to Cedartown next week. Darlington (2-1) will travel to Heritage.