By JOEL McNEECE
Calhoun Academy led Central virtually the entire game until the final minute when the Vikings scored on a 3-yard run to earn the victory.
“A lot of broken hearts when you’re within 50 seconds of a win,” Cougar Coach Gerry Winters said.
The Cougars were leading 22-18 with 2:12 to play and had possession of the ball when the game slipped away on one of only two turnovers. Macon Central pounced on a Cougar fumble inside the 20-yard line. They drove to the 3-yard line where they faced fourth and goal. The Cougars couldn’t hold.
“I was proud of our team,” Winters said. “They never quit.”
After spotting Central a 6-0 lead, the Cougars stormed back scoring first on a 50-yard pass from QB Hunter Harmon to Danny Joe Norman. Norman also converted the 2-point conversion for an 8-6 lead in the first quarter.
Dylan Haimes padded that lead in the second quarter with a 35-yard touchdown run. He also scored on the 2-point try for a 16-6 advantage for the Cougars at the half.
Central cut the lead to 16-12 early in the third quarter, but Norman answered immediately returning the ensuing kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown and giving the Cougars a 22-12 lead.
Central drew within 22-18 by the end of the third quarter, which upheld until the final minute.
Harmon led the rushing attack with 41 yards. He completed 3-8 passes for 58 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Haimes finished with 35 yards rushing and Norman 20 yards.
Kyle Carter and Devin Northrip led the defense with 12 tackles each. Norman had nine tackles and two interceptions.
“We improved from week one by far,” Winters said. “Our pass blocking was much better and our corners (J.T.?Washington and Sam Moore) played well.”
“We’ve got to learn from our mistakes. A little more hard work and we can take that first step on the ladder and earn a win,” Winters said.
The Cougars travel to Marvell, Ark. this week, who is also 0-2. The Cougars defeated Marvell in a preseason jamboree.