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Key TD run helps Lumpkin end Whites streak
McIntosh, Cagle spark Indians to 31-7 win over rival Warriors
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DAHLONEGA — The momentum was all on White County’s side.

Lumpkin County, which had lost five straight to its region rivals, was facing third-and-30 from its own 16 yard-line in a 7-7 game late in the third quarter.

Enter Ian McIntosh.

McIntosh took a handoff on a sweep, picked up two key blocks from Freddie Beamon and Kelvin Williams and cut back across the field for a game-changing 84-yard touchdown.

The Indians (4-1, 1-0 8-AAA North) never looked back, scoring the game’s final 24 points in a huge 31-7 region win over White County on Friday.

“For five years — five years — they didn’t think much of us,” said McIntosh of the Warriors. “They know what we’re really about now.”

While McIntosh’s big play was the turning point, two fourth-quarter touchdowns from senior Lee Cagle were the daggers that ended White County’s recent dominance of the Indians.

Cagle recovered a fumble in the end zone to put the Indians up 24-7 early in the fourth quarter, then sealed the victory with a 74-yard touchdown run, the longest of his career, with seven minutes to play. He finished with a career-high 100 yards rushing.

The significance of the win was easy to see. Seniors took pictures together on the field after the game while coach Tommy Jones, still wet from his Gatorade bath, smiled.

“This win means a lot to us,” Cagle said, “and we’re going to using as a steppingstone toward the playoffs.”

“It’s a big rivalry win for us, and we want to enjoy it,” added Jones, whose Indians are 4-1 for the first time since 2000.

For White County (1-4, 0-1 8AAA North) it was another disappointing finish to a game the Warriors were very much in before the fourth-quarter collapse. But that sometimes happens to a young team, first-year coach Bill Ballard said.

“We were right there, and things just didn’t go our way,” said Ballard, a college teammate of Jones’ at Furman. “We’re very young with only five senior starters. A lot of young guys are playing significant roles for us, and I think that’s how we’re going to build this program into a yearly contender.”

Lumpkin grabbed the early lead on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Logan Moye to McIntosh on the Indians’ first drive. That was the only score of the first half.

White County tied the game on its first drive of the second half, scoring on Dalton Whitfield’s 15-yard touchdown run with 6:69 to play in the third quarter.

Two chop block penalties on the Indians’ ensuing possession pushed them back to their own 16, facing the third-and-30 and setting up McIntosh’s game-changing run.

“Obviously, we weren’t trying to score on that play,” said Jones. “We we’re just trying to get a few yards so we could punt. But Ian, well, he can do that.”

Cagle spearheaded another spectacular defensive effort from the Indians, who forced four turnovers. Evan Gaddis was on the back end of two of those turnovers, recovering a fumble and intercepting White County quarterback Will Brock in the end zone on the Warriors’ final drive. Trevor Eudy also recovered a fumble in the end zone, thwarting a Warrior threat.

Lumpkin County has created 16 turnovers on the season, while committing just two.

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