MARIETTA — Sprayberry survived a late comeback by Osborne to secure a 23-17 victory at Cardinal Field on Friday.
The Cardinals (1-8, 0-4) had possession of the ball on their own 20-yard line with 1:07 left to play and trailing by six points. Osborne drove the ball to the Sprayberry 28-yard line before Sawyer Page intercepted a Xavier Evans pass at the 9-yard line to seal the victory for the Yellow Jackets.
“We struggled early, and Osborne was ready to play,” Sprayberry coach Billy Shackelford said. “Our defense played well throughout the contest and allowed our offense to get on track. I’m proud of the team’s effort (Friday).”
The Yellow Jackets (3-6, 2-2) scored on their first possession of the game on a 40-yard touchdown run by Shane Young for an early 6-0 lead.
The Cardinals responded with a touchdown of their own, courtesy of a 4-yard run by Robert Cooks, which gave Osborne the 7-6 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Cardinals extended the lead at the midway point of the second quarter when Vicente Gutierrez kicked a 36-yard field goal to make the score 10-7.
Osborne’s lead lasted about another 15 seconds.
Sprayberry’s Miles Wallace returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, which gave the Yellow Jackets a 13-10 lead heading into halftime.
Sprayberry increased its lead to 20-10 on their first possession of the second half on a 9-yard touchdown run by Young, his second of the contest.
“Young did a good job rushing (Friday) and took advantage of some counter plays that developed with some good blocking from our offensive line,” Shackelford said.
After a Rodrigo Blankenship 47-yard field goal pushed the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 23-10 early in the fourth quarter, Osborne began its comeback effort when Ayo Ashi intercepted a pass attempt by Young and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown with 9:31 to go in the game.
Young finished the contest with a game-high 144 yards rushing for Sprayberry, and Miles Wallace added 60 yards receiving on three catches.
Timothy Harris for Osborne finished the game with a game-high 115 yards receiving along with a team-high 61 yards rushing.
“I’m proud of my team’s effort tonight and our coaches did a great job as well,” Osborne coach Xarvia Smith said. “We have to continue to work hard and we can become a very competitive team.”
Both teams will have region play-in contests next week, as Sprayberry will face Sequoyah while Osborne plays Cambridge.