No. 1 (Public) Manchester, No. 2 (Private) Prince Avenue escape upset bids, No. 10 (Public) Trion does not

Here’s what went down Friday night:

Near upset No. 1:  No. 2 (private) Prince Avenue survives

The Wolverines, who are also No. 2 in the private school power ratings, trailed Hebron Christian 10-8 at halftime, but a four-yard touchdown run by JJ Hudson and a 64-yard touchdown pass from Grant Roland to Christian Parrish – the game’s second 60-plus yard pass play for a score between the two -- gave PAC a 22-10 lead going into the fourth quarter. But the Lions scored a touchdown with :47 seconds left in the game to narrow the gap to 22-17, and recovered an onside kick at the PAC 33-yard line and moved to the :13 with 12 seconds remaining. But false start and holding penalties backed Hebron Christian up to the 36-yard line with :03 seconds left, and a hail Mary pass fell incomplete, preserving the Wolverines’ perfect record (8-0, 7-0 in Region 8A).

Near upset No. 2:  No. 1 (public) Manchester holds on

In five previous match-ups against Columbus-area rival Brookstone, Manchester had outscored the Cougars by an average score of 43-7. But Friday night, the Blue Devils (8-0, 5-0 in Region 4-Division A), who have been averaging 45 points per game this season, couldn’t pull away from Brookstone. Manchester led 8-0 after the first quarter and 16-8 at halftime before finally prevailing 24-16.

Upset complete:  Darlington nips No. 10 Trion

Trion's foray into the state top 10 will be short lived. The Bulldogs led Darlington 21-14 at halftime but couldn’t withstand a huge second half effort by the Tigers and Georgia Tech commit Tijai Whatley, who had 249 total yards and four touchdowns to lead Darlington to a 35-31 win. In the game’s final :10 seconds, both teams thought they had won it. First, Trion thought it had scored a touchdown on the game’s final play when Cole Phillips took a short swing pass from Jarrett Gill and ran it in from 18 yards out. But the officials ruled Phillips stepped out at the 7-yard line and Darlington players and fans began to celebrate. However, the officials ruled that :01 second should be put back on the clock, giving Trion one more play. But Tiger linebacker Karl Swiger tipped the pass away to preserve the upset.

No completions? No problem for Stratford Academy

Stratford Academy attempted just two passes Friday night against Macon-area rival First Presbyterian Day, and only one of them was caught. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the catch was made by a Viking defender. But Stratford (7-0, 3-0 in Region 7-Division A) relied, as usual, on its dominant running game to overpower FPD (5-2, 2-1) 28-7. The Eagles rolled up 354 yards rushing on 46 carries – all but 14 of which went to two backs. Deondre Duehart ran 21 times for 128 yards and a touchdown, while Tyler Jordan had 12 carries for 121 yards and two scores.

Other games of note:

No. 3 (Private) Mount Paran Christian 38, Whitefield Academy 7

No. 3 (Public) Macon County 34, Schley County 20

No. 4 (Public) Clinch County 42, Turner County 7

Savannah Country Day 20, Savannah Christian 14

Our Lady of Mercy 35, Mount Vernon Presbyterian 31

Strong Rock Christian 35, Landmark Christian 14