The Charlton County Indians lost their second-straight close region game when they fell last Friday night to Turner County by a 21-14 score. The youthful Indians continue to battle hard and show signs of improving from week to week.
The Indians received the opening kickoff and on third down would throw an interception that Turner returned to the 25 yard line. But the Indian defense held their ground and forced the Rebels to turn the ball over on downs.
The Tribe couldn’t move the ball and had to punt with Turner taking over around midfield. A long pass moved the ball to the 18 but once again the Indians held and forced a 32-yard field goal attempt that failed.
Another Indian punt gave the ball back to the Rebels. Once again, they would drive deep into Indian territory but the defense stiffened and another Rebel field goal attempt failed as the game remained scoreless.
Taking over from their own 20 with seven minutes left in the half, the Tribe got a 26-yard run by Jaylen Lilley. He followed that up with a nine-yard run and on the third play of the drive, Lilley broke free for 45 yards and a touchdown to break the stalemate. Wyatt Crews came on for his first-ever PAT kick and put the ball through the uprights for a 7-0 Indian lead with 5:58 left in the half.
The lead didn’t last long, however, as the Rebels broke a 58-yard touchdown run on their first play from scrimmage of the ensuing drive. The PAT kick tied the score at 7-7.
Charlton was unable to move the ball following the kickoff and after a punt Turner took over from their own 44 yard line. On the second play of the drive, Turner found a receiver down the seam for a 56-yard scoring strike. The PAT was good and Turner led 14-7 with 2:53 left in the half.
But the Tribe would battle back. Facing third down and 20 yards to go quarterback Jaylen King connected with Lilley out of the backfield for 42 yards. After a personal foul on Turner moved the ball to the 21 yard line, it would be the King-to-Lilley combination down the left sideline with just 0:40 remaining before the break. Crews kicked the PAT and the score was knotted at 14-14 as the teams headed into the locker room.
Turner was forced to punt on their opening possession of the second half. Behind the running of Lilley, as well as two penalties on the Rebels, Charlton moved into Turner territory. But the drive stalled at the 29 and Turner took over on downs.
As the fourth quarter began, Turner would use 12 plays to drive 71 yards as they scored on a three-yard run with 7:12 left in the game. The PAT made it 21-14.
Charlton couldn’t move the ball and punted, hoping the defense would give them one last chance. Turner would drive to the Indian 40 and on fourth down, Kyler Williams picked off an errant Turner pass giving the Indians one last shot with 1:31 remaining. But the Indians could pick up only seven yards and turned the ball back over to the Rebels. One kneel-down by Turner ran out the remainder of the clock as the Indians fell to 1-4 on the season.
Freshman Lilley had a career night as he rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown along with adding 63 receiving yards and another score.
The Indians return home this Friday night as they face top-ranked Irwin County. The Indians will recognize Hall of Famer Champ Bailey in a pregame ceremony and it will also be Rec. Night for the youth football players.