Tommy Flowers is off to a rather impressive start as coach of White County High's football program.
Last week, Flowers was behind a 21-14 win over Lumpkin County in the interim position. On Friday, he raised the bar even higher as the Warriors (5-1, 2-0 Region 8A-AAA) knocked off North Hall 18-12 at The Brickyard, which marked the first ever subregion loss for the Trojans.
Flowers, in his fourth season at White County, has been a part of five trips to the state championship game previously in his career as an assistant coach at Thomas County Central and Tift County. However, he ranks Friday's come-from-behind victory with White County right at the top.
"This is as sweet as they come," Flowers said. "It was just a tremendous team effort and we're all playing as one big family."
White County got started on its game-winning drive with 11:35 left to play and the ball on its own 40. Fifteen plays later, Warriors' sophomore quarterback Cole Segraves scored on a 1-yard dive play and connected with his older brother, Cam, on a two-point conversion pass play to take the 18-12 lead six minutes after the drive opened.
White County's quarterback also gave a lot of credit to sophomore Austin Finley, who came in to play on the offensive line on the scoring drive off the bench.
"It feels great to be able to come in here and beat North Hall," Cole Segraves said. "We wanted to get the ball back when we did and the offensive line did a great job protecting up front."
After taking the lead, the Warriors staved off two drives by North Hall in the final minutes of the game, which was attempting to preserve its perfect record in five seasons of playing a divided region schedule.
In the final five minutes, two passes were dropped by Trojans receivers and another was nearly hauled in by junior C.J. Curry, who had to go up high for a downfield pass.
"It just comes down to the fact that White County made more plays than us," North Hall coach Bob Christmas said. "We just have to get back up and play better next week."
On White County's long scoring drive it was a mix of run plays between Cole Segraves and Ashely Lowery (13 runs, 55 yards), along with pass plays to Ethan McCallister.
McCallister had two long catches on the drive, including a clutch 15-yard catch on a third-and-4 only five plays into the drive. He added a 9-yard catch later in the drive.
However, when it got down to the goal line, Cole Segraves kept the ball in his own hands. On third-and-1 at the 10, he powered through the line and twisted for a 5-yard gain. A pair of 2-yard carries by Segraves later, he punched it in for the score from the 1 on third down.
"Cole did a great job running on that lead play," Flowers said. "We're all pumped up to have this victory."
McCallister was instrumental the entire game for White County. In the first quarter, he hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Cole Segraves to go ahead 7-0 with 4:59 remaining in the first quarter.
However, just as important was the 15-yard catch he made over the middle on a fourth-and-7 late in the second quarter. After a turnover was wiped out on a face mask by North Hall, Tucker Rey connected on a 35-yard field goal for White County to take a 10-6 lead into halftime.
North Hall took a momentary lead in the first quarter when junior running back Imani Cross scored on a 72-yard touchdown run. After breaking the tackle of a defensive back near the line of scrimmage, he outran another defensive back in the secondary all the way to the end zone.
North Hall added another touchdown in the third quarter with a 3-yard run by Trevor Holbrooks, giving the Trojans a 12-10 lead.
White County held North Hall's offense to only 191 total yards, including a sack on the Trojans' quarterback late in the second quarter and deep in Warriors territory. It brought the end to a potential scoring drive for North Hall after a 42-yard halfback pass from Cross to wide receiver C.J. Curry down to the 12.
Cross finished the game with 92 rushing yards for North Hall.
Segraves completed 14 passes for 128 yards.
White County plays host to Stephens County (5-1, 2-0); North Hall plays host to Lumpkin County (4-2, 1-1) next Friday at The Brickyard.