SPRINGFIELD -- Trailing by 18 points at halftime, Effingham County staged a spirited comeback but fell just short, losing to Brunswick 21-18 on Friday night at Rebel Field.
ECHS (6-3, 4-2 Region 2-AAAAAA) will enter the Class AAAAAA state tournament as the region's No. 3 seed and will travel to play Westlake in the first round Nov. 13.
Needing a win over Brunswick to capture a region championship for the first time since 1995, the Rebels scored 15 second-half points to give the state's No. 4-ranked team a major scare.
Miquel Allen, who finished with 107 yards on 13 carries, scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter and Xayvier Coppock had a 1-yard TD run with 9:23 left. Khiry Wallace caught a two-point conversion pass from Matthew Ford and the Rebels closed within 21-18.
Ashley Thompson's interception on the next possession gave ECHS the ball at the Brunswick 31, but the Rebels couldn't get in field-goal range and surrendered the ball on downs at the 28.
ECHS had the ball two more times but couldn't cross the 50.
The Rebels held Brunswick without a point and just 45 yards in the second half, but were scorched by a 21-point Pirates uprising in a span of 6:36 of the second quarter.