Several Liberty County High School players, as well as their head coach, participated in the War of the Border all-star football game Feb. 22 in Folkston.
The game pits top high-school players from Georgia and Florida against each other. Florida scored 22 unanswered points to defeat Georgia, 22-12, for the third time in four years at the “Swamp,” the home stadium of Class A runner-up Charlton County. Panthers Jacob Mackrill, Trentice Williams, Jeremy Caldwell-Fabregas and Jonathan Britton played for the Georgia squad.
The game’s goal is help senior players be seen by college scouts and have a special memory as they finish up their high school football career.
“I think the game is a great opportunity for unsigned players to get that last chance to impress some college scouts,” LCHS head coach Kirk Warner said. “I think our players, for the most part, did well in the game. Of course, you would always like to see your own players get more playing time, but as with all all-star games, each player has to get their opportunity to play.”
Charlton County quarterback Trae Harrington hit teammate Julian Roberts for a 41-yard gain, but Georgia could not punch the ball in. Appling County kicker Israel Jaramillo’s field goal put the home team up, 3-0.
Appling defensive back Devontae Wilkerson scored Georgia’s first touchdown late in the first quarter, picking off a Florida pass from 20 yards out.
Georgia held a 9-0 lead until late in the first half. Fernandina Beach’s Anthony Duclos picked off a Georgia pass and returned the ball to the Georgia 24. Shortly after, Fletcher’s Codan Breckenridge added a 32-yard field goal.
In the final seconds of the half, Florida got a 38-yard touchdown pass from Atlantic Coast’s Ryan McFarlin to Mandarin’s Willie Burgos for a 10-9 lead.
Coming out of halftime, the rest of the game would be controlled by Florida.
Menendez’s Trevon Bryant scored a rushing touchdown on Florida’s opening possession. Georgia’s special teams mishandled a kick and Florida brought down the ball carrier near the Georgia 1. On the next snap, Yulee’s Gary Deveaux notched a safety.
Later, Breckrenridge added a field goal from 42 yards for a 22-9 lead. Georgia added a field goal to round out the scoring.
Roberts was the offensive MVP player of the game for Georgia.
First Coast running back Jaha McCray took offensive MVP honors for Florida with 125 yards from scrimmage, while Stanton safety Collin Conner took top defensive honors after a pair of interceptions.