For teams in GHSA Region 3-2A, a mini-game consisting of two five-minute halves is used to break a three-way tie in the standings. For Southwest on Monday night, that meant chances to score would not come in abundance.
Southwest took full advantage of its final one Monday night in a contest played at West Laurens.
After considering kicking a field goal to tie the game, the Patriots went for the win.
The decision paid massive dividends for Southwest.
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A 17-yard fourth-down pass on the game’s final play from Jordan Slocum to Montez Askew in the back corner of the end zone gave the Patriots a 6-3 win over Washington County, advancing Southwest to the state playoffs for the second year in a row for the first time in school history.
“The season’s been up and down, our guys have persevered every time. Our coaches did a great job getting them ready,” Southwest head coach Joseph Dupree said. “We thought about kicking it, but our kicker is straight ahead and we didn’t feel good about it being on the hash. Askew made a great catch, Jordan made a great throw and the line blocked well. It was just an exciting time; we made the play.”
The victory earns the Patriots (5-4) the third seed out of the region. They’ll travel to Jefferson County on Friday for the first round of the playoffs.
“It’s the second year in a row,” Dupree said while holding back tears. “I’m just so proud of my guys and this community. I’m just excited.”