Greene County falls to A.L. Johnson despite late rally (gallery included)

10-29-15 -- Eutaw, Ala. -- Greene County QB Denzel Davis (2) is sacked by A.L. Johnson's Lewis Anderson (24) and Terry Herelle (11) during Thursday night's game. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

10-29-15 — Eutaw, Ala. — Greene County QB Denzel Davis (2) is sacked by A.L. Johnson’s Lewis Anderson (24) and Terry Herelle (11) during Thursday night’s game. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

EUTAW, Ala. — A 22-point fourth quarter rally was not enough for the Greene County Tigers to outscore the visiting Eagles of A.L. Johnson Thursday night as the Tigers suffered a 32-30 homecoming loss to the Eagles.

“Our guys came out and put together a great drive there at the end and that’s what matters,” said A.L. Johnson head coach Johnney Ford of the win.

ALJ got off to an early start, jumping out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter. After a scoreless second period, the Eagles went to the locker room up by 12.

The third period saw ALJ’s Desmond Mair find the end zone on a 50-yard run with 8:12 remaining in the third. A Greene County fumble on the ensuing drive put ALJ back in business on their own 37-yard line. On the first play following the recovered fumble, an ALJ fumble resulted in Greene County’s first trip to the end zone with 5:44 to go in the third. A two-point conversion made it 20-8.

If the first three quarters were boring, the fourth was anything but.

The quarter opened with the Eagles scoring on a 13-yard run with 11:52 to go in the game. A failed two-point conversion left it at 26-8.

The next three consecutive scores would be all Greene County, making it 26-16 at the 7:38 mark and 26-22 at the 5:23 mark before GC claimed the lead for the first time in the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion at the 2:53 mark, making it 30-26.

ALJ took the next 2:53 to put together an impressive 60-yard drive, which culminated with a 1-yard rush by Desmond Mair, giving the Eagles the go-ahead two points needed.

With 23.2 seconds remaining, the Tigers took the kickoff and took three stabs towards the end zone from their own 45-yard line.

“We’ve got a young team and they were doing some pretty uncharacteristic stuff letting Greene County gain the momentum in the fourth, but they found a way to win in the last two minutes,” said Ford.

Mair paced the Eagle ground game with 202 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries. He also added four tackles, a fumble recovery and a sack on the defensive side of the ball.

Lewis Anderson ran 16 times for 57 yards and a touchdown to go along with 11 tackles on the defensive side. Edward London was 6 of 12 through the air for 72 yards and a score.

Deandre Croom had six tackles while Jeremiah Smith had five.

With the win, the Eagles of ALJ will face Brantley next week in the first round of the AHSAA playoffs.

After a win at Ellwood Christian last week and Greene County this week, the Eagles are going into the playoffs with a two-game winning streak under their belt.

“I told our guys that what matters is how you finish. Most of our games this season were close games, we went into overtime twice, but having this momentum going into next week against Brantley is huge,” said Ford. “We just can’t go in and make boneheaded mistakes.”