Jones County head coach Justin Rogers knew that he would go into Friday night’s football game against Wayne County without quarterback Teldrick Ross but had no idea that he would end up playing almost the entire game without leading rusher Drake Bolus.
Bolus went out on the fourth offensive snap with an ankle injury, leaving Rogers to look for another way to win a football game.
Thankfully for the Greyhounds, Hunter Costlow and Jontavis Robertson were ready for the challenge.
Costlow, who spent the year playing behind Ross while starting for the B-team, threw for over 300 yards, and Robertson, who was averaging 14 yards of receiving per game, went well over 100 yards to lead the Hounds to a 26-21 win over Wayne County in the GHSA 5A state playoffs.
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“I cannot express how proud I am of these kids,” said Rogers on Saturday morning. “When we lost Drake early, a lot of teams would have just quit and started wondering how we were supposed to win a football game without probably our two best offensive players. This team never even blinked and gave an unbelievable effort to get a win. We were in a 7-6 game at the half and Hunter made some great throws to get us the lead and then our defense made a stop at the end of the game to get the win. I mean we talk all the time about next man up and this just shows that these kids understand what that means.”
Jones County (11-1) advances to the round of eight and will be on the road to Atlanta to face Carver (11-1). Carver defeated Flowery Branch 33-19 on Friday night.
The Peach County Trojans (11-1) also advanced in GHSA 3A play with a 34-14 win over Piercer County. Trevon Woolfolk ran for 126 and three touchdowns to lead the way. Peach County will stay at home next Friday and meet Westminster, who defeated East Hall in a wild 59-57 game.
Mary Persons (10-2) advanced in GHSA 4A play by beating Baldwin 39-14. The will get another home game next Friday as they meet up with Jefferson, who defeated Ridgeland 28-21.
The Warner Robins Demons (12-0) had their hands full with Eagles Landing but found a way to win in a 26-23 overtime thriller. They also get another home game and will play Carrollton (10-2) who defeated Arabia Mountain 44-0 to stay alive in GHSA 6A play.
The Stratford Academy Eagles (10-1) advanced to the next round with a 36-22 win over Fellowship Christian. The Eagles will travel to Kennesaw for a match-up with Mount Paran (11-1) who defeated Mount Vernon 53-12 to advance.