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Loss leaves Mustangs in must-win territory
Lawton Bowen
Mustangs coach Nathan Clark steps onto the field to congratulate Lawton Bowen (19) and Jaden Sanders (9) after Bowen recovered a fourth-quarter fumble on a punt return Friday. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

GUYTON — Glynn Academy survived a pair of late challenges by South Effingham on Friday to post a 13-9 Region 2-AAAAAA win at The Corral.

After Lawton Bowen recovered a fumbled punt just inside Terrors territory with 8:41 to go, the Mustangs (2-3, 0-3), trailing 13-7, marched inside the 10 in nine plays before finding themselves in a fourth-and-short situation with 2:39 left. Justin Martell got the call on a running play around the left end on the next snap and was stopped at the 5, inches short of gaining a crucial first down with 2:38 left. 

South Effingham didn't let Glynn Academy out of the hole, however, It forced a fourth down inside the 10.

Instead of punting, however, the Terrors (3-4, 1-2) took an intentional safety when quarterback Tyler Devlin ran the ball out of the back of the end zone. The resulting free kick set the Mustangs up at their 39 with 1:16 to go.

South Effingham advanced to the Terrors 32 before bogging down in the final seconds with a series of incompletions and a penalty for intentional grounding.

South Effingham dominated the game statistically, outgaining the Terrors in total yards 292-137. Seven Mustangs combined to rush for 222 yards on 45 attempts.

Mustangs coach Nathan Clark drew no solace from those numbers.

“We’ve got to start winning if we are going to make the playoffs,” he said.

South Effingham outplayed the Terrors for most of the game. Glynn Academy’s lone touchdown came on a five-yard return of a blocked punt during the Mustangs’ opening series.

“We got behind early,” Clark said. “They blocked the punt and obviously scored on that and then we had a high snap on a (41-yard) field goal, and they blocked that.”

Glynn Academy’s offense stopped sputtering briefly in the second quarter. A 46-yard gain on a screen pass was the key play of a lengthy drive that ended with a 37-yard field goal by Kody Arnold with 1:21 left.

Arnold also booted a 48-yard field goal as the clock ran out in the first half. He got the scoring opportunity because South Effingham was unable to gain a first down on the ensuing possession.

The contest was tied for most of the second quarter after Martell ripped off a 48-yard touchdown run. Tyler Quick added the PAT.

The only points of the second half came via the safety. Quick attempted a 43-yard field goal midway through the fourth period but it came up short.

The Terrors were limited to 39 total yards during the final 24 minutes. They had only four offensive snaps in the fourth quarter.

South Effingham is set to host Lakeside (3-3, 1-1) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in its homecoming game. The Panthers are coming off a 44-10 loss to undefeated Brunswick (7-0, 3-0).

Lakeside posted a 21-20 region win over Evans.