This was Ranburne’s first appearance in the second round of the playoffs in nearly 20 years.
“We didn’t play well in the first half,” Ranburne head coach Chad Young said. “That’s not us, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
Ranburne was plagued with penalties and struggled with the passing game. Sophomore quarterback Dylan Wiggins completed 9 out of 32 passes, although he managed 239 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Junior running back Dylan Tullis scored the Bulldogs’ first and only touchdown of the first half on a 19-yard run in the opening drive. Tullis had 21 total carries for 88 yards, and five receptions for 98.
The Eagles dominated the rest of the half, putting up 27 unanswered points. Quarterback Joshua Thomas scored on a 30-yard keeper and a 70-yard punt return.
Senior running back Justin Wollfolk scored on a 40 and an 8-yard run, and receiver Sam Laplatney took a 25-yard pass in just before the end of the second.
Ranburne recovered a fumble at the start of the third. The ensuing drive resulted in a touchdown from Tullis, starting a remarkable attempt at a comeback by the Bulldogs. The Eagles’ next possession resulted in yet another fumble and TD from Tullis.
Montgomery Academy answered with a 62-yard keeper from Thomas, making it 40-21 heading into the fourth quarter.
Ranburne recovered two back-to-back onside kicks in the final quarter, with one ending in a touchdown from Tullis.
After Ranburne turned the ball over on downs, Thomas secured the victory with an 80-yard run into the end zone. Ranburne scored in the last few minutes on a pass to Kyle Lovvorn.
“We battled,” Young said “We just couldn’t overcome it.”