CONYERS--Madison County’s Halloween nightmare came a couple weeks early.
Heritage standout Garry Peters broke loose for a game-winning 57-yard touchdown with just 27 seconds left Friday night as the Patriots stunned the Raiders, 21-20.
The heartbreaking loss dropped Madison County to 5-3 with just two games left.
The Raiders blew a 14-0 fourth quarter lead in the loss. Still, Jamal Cooper had seemingly saved the evening for Madison County, taking a screen pass 30 yards to the end zone with just 40 seconds left to put the Raiders up 20-14.
But Madison County missed the extra point, leaving the door open for Heritage to win the game with a touchdown and successful PAT.
And that’s just what happened.
Following a short kick from Madison County, Heritage set up at its own 43 and put Peters, a wide receiver, behind center.
Peters sent Madison County from jubilation to devastation in a matter of seconds, breaking free on a quarterback draw on the first play of the drive and sprinting down the left sideline to the end zone.
Heritage converted the PAT to take a one-point lead.
Madison County threw a desperation pass on its final possession, but it was intercepted near midfield – by Peters.
The Raiders have two weeks to recover from the loss as they are off next week. They’ll take the field again Oct. 30 against unbeaten and region-leading Apalachee.
Madison County dominated the first half, holding Heritage to -6 yards rushing in the first two quarters and getting a 26-yard touchdown run and 29-yard touchdown reception from Kendrick Butler. On the touchdown catch, Butler grabbed a deflected pass near the goal line and scored, putting Madison County up 14-0.
But the Raiders didn’t deliver a knock-out punch in the second half.
The tenor of the game then changed when Chase Davis got Heritage on the scoreboard at the 9:44 mark in the fourth quarter with a 29-yard touchdown run.
Peters later caught a 32-yard pass with 1:44 remaining to knot the game at 14.
But Madison County appeared that it would escape Heritage with its first-ever win over the Patriots, driving 80 yards on seven plays and scoring on Cooper’s catch-and-run, which put the Raiders up by six.