Lincoln County star running back A.G. Middlebrooks broke his leg in his team's 20-12 win at Commerce on Friday night. His season is over, coach Larry Campbell said.
"It's a season-ending injury, not a career-ending injury," Campbell said Saturday of Middlebrooks, a college prospect.
Campbell said Middlebrooks had successful surgery Saturday morning, with doctors at Athens Regional Medical Center inserting a titanium rod into his left leg. Middlebrooks had been slowed early in the year by a stress fracture in the same leg, though the game against Commerce was the first where doctors gave him full clearance to play. Campbell said doctors had previously limited how many plays Middlebrooks had been available. Middlebrooks, for example, never carried the ball more than 15 times in any game this season.
"We're not going to beat ourselves up that we brought him back too soon," Campbell said. "The doctors said a stress fracture weakens the bone ... but this was just one of those football injuries that sometimes happens.
"The older I get, this is the worst part (of coaching) for me. (Middlebrooks) worked so hard over the summer."
Middlebrooks, a senior, entered the game against Commerce having rushed for 336 yards and was on his way to his third consecutive 1,000-yard season.
"It puts in everybody's mind that this is the year to get Lincoln County without him," Campbell said. Lincoln County (4-1) begins Region 7-A play next week.
DEAL WITH DEVILS: Lincoln County's first opponent without Middlebrooks is Aquinas.
After getting off to an 0-2 start, Aquinas has evened its record with a pair of wins over Georgia Military and Glascock County.
In first-year coach Matt LeZotte 's lifetime, Aquinas has never defeated the Red Devils. Campbell lost to the Irish in his first season in 1972 and has since won 27 in a row.
"We're going to go in and play, and we're going to play hard," said LeZotte, who turns 28 Friday. "I told our guys to pat their back (after defeating Glascock County) for about 30 minutes and let's get ready for next week."
Aquinas will face its toughest test of the season against the Red Devils. Since 1983, Lincoln County has averaged 45 points a game against the Irish. Aquinas has not scored more than 16 points in a game against the Red Devils since 1972.
"They're a good team. We've got a lot of respect for them," Aquinas senior center Pat Douglas said. "We're going to go out there and play our hardest."
PLUGGING HOLES: Glascock County gained 321 yards on 33 carries against Aquinas, but 248 of that total came on four runs 59 yards or longer.
"We lined up incorrectly and they capitalized on it," LeZotte said. "We have to make sure we're lined up correctly and everybody does their job."
NICE CALL: The last of Burke County's five touchdowns in its 36-26 win over Brunswick is the one most folks are going to be talking about this weekend.
Terrell Brigham took the shotgun snap on third-and-goal from the 2-yard line and plowed toward the line of scrimmage, just like he had done in 28 previous rushing attempts. Just before he reached the line of scrimmage, he jumped and lofted a pass to Nick Bostic for a touchdown. The play has been popularized by University of Florida and quarterback Tim Tebow . The Bears call it: 14 Heisman.
"Knock on wood, we've scored every time with it," coach Eric Parker said.
JACKETS SWITCH UP: North Augusta's offense has earned the reputation of a big-play, quick-score unit this season. But a 29-0 victory over Dutch Fork also saw the Yellow Jackets score by marching down the field in a sustained drive.
"We haven't pounded the ball on anybody like that this year," North Augusta coach Dan Pippin said. "That was a good start to the second half."
The 10-play, 80-yard march, exclusively driven by running plays, sapped up almost five minutes of the third-quarter clock on North Augusta's first possession of the second half. Loranzo Hammonds scored on an 11-yard quarterback keeper for a 26-0 lead.
ON TARGET: Swainsboro quarterback Malcolm Eady had to attempt just five passes in his team's 57-0 win over Southeast Bulloch on Friday night. No area Georgia player had thrown for more yards than Eady entering Friday's games. He threw for 126 yards in the win.
Swainsboro plays host to Jefferson County next week in a huge Region 3-AA game.
Chris Gay and Billy Byler contributed to this story.
Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
RUSHING: Montavious Myricks, Glascock County, 246 yards in a 55-19 loss to Aquinas
PASSING: Ben Wilson, Lakeside, 216 yards in a 43-7 win over Harlem
RECEIVING: Garrett Pippin, Aquinas, 138 yards in a 55-19 win over Glascock County