Image: Stingy Knights Defense Punches Ticket to Region Title

Jayden Skelton leaps to snag the pass.

Four turnovers including two pick-six interceptions helped Upson-Lee Middle School football punch their ticket to the championship game and earn a chance to defend their region title.

The Knights defeated the Mary Persons Bulldogs 26-0 en route to the championship.

The opening quarter saw both teams turn the ball over twice and the ball never crossed mid-field. Malachi Character opened the scoring early in the second quarter with a short run to make the game a 6-0 Upson-Lee advantage.

The combination of Character and Niko Wells running downhill from the Knights’ backfield was too much for the Bulldogs to handle. Qua Smith connected with Zy Barkley for a 15-yard passing touchdown that put the Knights up 12-0 at halftime.

Upson-Lee only struggled on defense for one drive which was the first drive of the second half. They gave up a long run on a few missed tackles, but made up for it with a stop on their half of the field. After making adjustments, the Knights returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the span of just three plays run by the Bulldogs. Jayden Skelton delivered the first and Jy Garmon picked up the second.

Garmon’s pick-six capped Upson-Lee’s scoring at a 26-0 lead and that was plenty enough to secure the win.

Upson-Lee remains undefeated and they will compete in the region title game on Oct. 13. The Knights have one remaining regular season contest on the road against Henderson on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 5:00 p.m.

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