Gainesville upsets Decatur, dashes Eagles’ district title hopes

By Clay Corbett, for the Messenger | Published Friday, November 9, 2018.
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With just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Decatur coach Mike Fuller decided to go for a two-point conversion that would have given his team its first lead of the night. The decision backfired as Gainesville stuffed the run attempt and ended any hope Decatur had of winning the game.

Gainesville (4-6, 3-2) ran out the clock on their ensuing drive to complete a 49-48 victory and dashed the Eagles’ hopes of a share of the league title.

The loss dropped the Eagles (4-6, 3-2) to fourth place in District 4-4A Division I. Decatur will play District 3-4A Division I champion Dumas in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

In a back and forth game, it was the Leopards who got just enough stops to pull out the victory.

A late double reverse pass from Decatur quarterback Roman Fuller to Beau Bedford capped an 80-yard touchdown that brought the Eagles to within a score at halftime, 28-21.

After an early stop in the third quarter, the Eagles could not take advantage. Their offense stalled after three plays. Gainesville took advantage with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Draylon Franklin to Isaiah Gipson to put the Leopards in front 35-21.

Decatur stormed back with a six-play drive, when Gunner Ragsdale scored from three yards out to bring the Leopards back to within 35-28.

Ragsdale carried the load for Decatur finishing the game with 183 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

Gainesville came right back with a one-yard touchdown run by Franklin.

Ragsdale wouldn’t let Decatur stay down long as he responded with a 60-yard touchdown run, as raced past the Leopard secondary for a score. The Eagles failed on the their two-point conversion attempt, leaving the score 42-34.

After a defensive stop, Ragsdale struck again with a three-yard touchdown scamper, and after a successful two-point conversion the Eagles tied the game at 42.

The Leopards had one more big play in them, as Franklin found Isaiah Baker for a 54-yard catch and run score to put the Leopards back up 49-42. Franklin finished with his best night of the season, with 362 yards through the air and four touchdowns.

Decatur scored one last time, on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Fuller to Bedford, but the failed two point conversion in the end was the difference.

Fuller finished with 407 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions.

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