It was a heartbreaking end to their season as the Hinesville Hurricanes fell, 8-6 in overtime, to the Georgia Pirates on Saturday in the Spring League Championship Game in Augusta.
The Pirates pounced early in the first quarter by scoring on a 15-yard run. The Pirates went for the 2-point conversion, but Hurricane defensive player Roland Jackson stopped the ball carrier short of the end zone.
The Hurricanes answered in the third quarter when quarterback LaShawn Lee connected with Charles Crossley on a 50-yard touchdown pass. The Pirates, in turn, snuffed the ’Canes 2-point conversion attempt, keeping the game tied at 6.
Hinesville mounted a drive, but the Pirates killed the momentum by intercepting a potential Hurricane touchdown pass at the Pirates 5 with 30 seconds left in regulation. That sent the championship game into overtime.
The Pirates won the toss and moved the ball downfield. The Pirates launched the ball toward the end zone, but Hinesville’s Tracey Lewis intercepted the pass. However, it left the ’Canes deep in their own territory. The Pirates brought out the blitz package and tackled a Hurricanes ball carrier in the end zone for what turned out to be the game-winning safety.
“That was an outstanding game,” Hurricanes’ head coach James Sharp said. “Coach Michael Jones had the offense running well, which kept the ball moving.”
Sharp added that the defense knew what it had to do to keep the Pirates from running up the touchdowns. He said Charles Crooley, Chauncey Crossley, Jamie Sharp, Tank Rutherford, Timmy Darden and Tony Blocker did an outstanding job in leading the defense.
Coach Sharp said the Hurricanes will start getting ready for next season.
In the meantime, the ’Canes will continue their community service projects by participating in tonight’s Relay For Life by volunteering for the Kid Zone area. The team will honor its players during a banquet June 15 at Live Oak Church.