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Dogs marched back down the field on some long runs by Stanley, but the drive stalled at the Pirate 15-yard line. Dietrich drilled a 32yard field goal, giving the Dogs a 17-7 lead with 2:56 remaining in the half.
On the next Pirate drive, Senior Keshon Deloach intercepted a Griffis pass, and the Dogs headed into the locker room up 17-7 at the half.
On the opening drive in the second half, the Dogs drove down the field but stalled at the Appling 1-yard line after the Pirates held tough on a goal-line stand. Dietrich kicked a 24-yard field goal to extend the Toombs lead to 20-7 with 4:25 remaining in the third quarter.
Appling switched to a single wing in the second half and challenged the Red Bullet defense. Six plays later, the Pirates scored on a 25-yard run, cutting the lead to 20-14. The Dogs moved the ball 68 yards on 5 plays before a Pirate defender intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it to the Appling 19-yard line.
The Pirates covered 81 yards on 11 plays to score a touchdown, regaining the lead, 21-20, with 5:29 remaining in the game. The Dogs punted on their next drive, and the Pirates capitalized, scoring on a 64yard touchdown run to lead 28-20 with 3:23 remaining.
The Dogs showcased their resilience, moving down the field and converting on a 4th down play that covered 34 yards from Stanley to Gavin Fletcher. Facing another 4th down at the Pirate 16-yard line with 56 seconds left, Stanley found Fletcher in the end zone. Despite tight coverage, Fletcher secured the game-changing touchdown. Stanley and Deloach connected for the 2-point conversion, tying the game at 28-28.
On the kickoff, a Pirate returner muffed the return, and Toombs County recovered. Stanley ran one play for 7 yards and ran the clock down to 8 seconds. Dietrich lined up for a 32yard game-winning attempt. The Pirates tried to ice him with two timeouts. Undeterred, Dietrich made the field goal, giving the Dogs a, 31-28, lead.
The Dogs clinched the road win, moving to 7-0 for the first time since 1995 and 3-0 in Region 3AA, holding first place. The victory over #2 Appling County is the highestranked win in the program’s history.
It is another huge week for the Bulldogs as #4 ranked Pierce County will visit The Pit this Friday, with a Region Title possibly at stake. This also shows just how tough Region 3AA is, with three teams ranked in the top 5 in the state. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m., and the Bulldogs need their fans to pack The Pit.