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Raiders win wild shootout 72-55 at East Hall

No, it’s not a typo. The Habersham Raiders won their season opener in Week 0, 72-55 at East Hall in what looks more like a typical basketball score!

Habersham trailed 21-20 at the end of the first quarter, but put up 23 points in the second quarter and 22 in the fourth in a wild offensive onslaught. East Hall added 16 in the fourth quarter as well, leaving both teams with a combined 127 points.

Senior Jim Barnett opened the scoring with a 45-yard TD catch from fellow senior AJ Curry on just the third play of the game (55 seconds in). East Hall immediately tied the game at 7-7. Habersham’s Daniel Matkovic responded with a TD run to make it 13-7 Raiders.

After the Vikings took the lead moments later on a 78-yard TD, Curry scored a rushing touchdown from 60 yards out, regaining the lead at 20-14. East Hall QB Austin Parker duplicated that with a 9-yard rushing score of his own, sending East Hall up 21-20 at the end of one.

Matkovic added a 10-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion to continue the see-saw battle and giving Habersham the 28-21 lead in the second. Curry then hooked up with brother Donovan Curry for a 50-plus yard TD. The ensuing two-point conversion made it 36-21 Raiders.

Barnett caught another TD pass just before the break from AJ Curry to pad the lead at 43-27. At the half, the two teams had combined for 70 points and nearly 800 yards of offense (400 for the Raiders). East Hall put more pressure on Habersham by closing within 10 points midway through the third at 43-33.

Baylor Henshaw added a rushing score to spread the lead again and get the Raiders to the 50-point mark. After yet another Raiders TD before heading to the fourth, the Vikings again closed within 10 early in the final quarter. When Habersham went up 64-47, East Hall again notched a score and two-point conversion to make the game 64-55 with 3:23 to go.

In the final minutes, Habersham put the game away and closed the scoring at 72-55. Habersham starts the season 1-0 for the second straight year, and will have a bye week in Week 1, before returning to action September 1 in the home opener against White County.

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