Donoho’s 42-20 victory helped its cause and ended Spring Garden’s hopes.
“I told our guys we’re not going to worry about where we land as far as the playoff picture,” said Donoho head coach Shannon Felder. “We just want to make sure when they start issuing names of teams that made the playoffs, we want to be one of them. We’ve got to take care of our business again next week.”
Although the Panthers were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss, Spring Valley’s head coach Jason Howard spoke highly of his team’s effort.
“I thought they fought the whole game,” he said. “I take my hat off to Coach Felder. They did what it took to run the clock out the last four minutes. I felt like our kids fought about as hard as they could fight on it.”
Donoho (6-2, 6-1 Class 1A, Region 7) and Spring Garden (3-5, 3-4) traded touchdowns in the first half.
Senior quarterback Chris Carr put Donoho on the board first with a 9-yard touchdown run late in the first.
The Panthers tied it at 6-6 midway through the second quarter thanks to a 38-yard run by junior running back Kyle Reece.
On the ensuing possession, sophomore running back Kevin Carr gave the Falcons the lead with his 60-yard run.
The Panthers used their next possession to milk the clock go on a 60-yard drive to tie the game at 14. The drive was capped off by a 4-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Will Ivey with only seconds remaining in the half.
In the third quarter, Donoho seemed to be taking control of the game. Chris Carr ran for two touchdowns on runs of 42 and 16.
The Panthers’ defense came alive in the fourth quarter when Ben Ivey returned an interception for a 35-yard touchdown. That cut the Donoho lead to 28-20.
Donoho recovered the ensuing onside kick. The Falcons put the game away with a 30-yard run by Justin Foster and a 45-yard interception by Chris Carr for a touchdown.
Chris and Kevin Carr excelled on both sides of the ball. Chris led the team with 141 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Kevin had the longest run of the night and had nine tackles on defense.
“My brother is a big help for me.” Kevin said. “It’s a big experience for me.”
Added Chris, when asked about playing with his brother: “It’s a real fond experience.”
Donoho was led in tackles by Samuel Garner with 15, Axis Heathcock with 14 and Parker Morgan with 16.
Both teams return to action on Friday. Spring Garden will travel to Cedar bluff and Donoho will travel to Gaylesville for its final scheduled game of the season.