HARTWELL — White County's J Ben Haynes does it again. This time, against a top-10 ranked team.
Haynes, behind stellar offensive line play, guided the Warriors (2-0) on what ended up being the game-winning drive to stun No. 8-ranked Hart County, 50-47, on the road Friday.
"It was a team effort. It's just great to get a win over the legendary coach Rance Gillespie and the great program of Hart," White County coach Tim Cokely said on the Hardy Chevy Scoreboard Show.
Haynes had runs of 17 and 21 and Silas Mulligan had a 13-yard run before the senior quarterback dance in from 10 yards out for the late go-ahead score. Haynes also connected with Reece Dockery on the 2-point conversion to go up by a field goal.
After jumping out to a 21-7 lead in the first half, including a 9-for-12, 105-yard passing performance from Haynes, and Cooper Turner with four catches for 83 yards, the Bulldogs (0-2) found a rhythm in the second quarter, tying the game, 21-21, at the half.
The Bulldogs came out determined in the second half, scoring three touchdowns behind Power 5 running backs JL Lackey and JT Thomas. The flurry of touchdowns pushed the Hart lead up 42-21 late in the third quarter.
But the Warriors began fighting back, weathering a fierce attack from Hart County’s Division 1 filled roster, to climb back into the non-region contest.
It started with a 20-yard touchdown strike from Haynes to Darius Cannon with 8:49 to go in the third quarter. Then a Haynes 8-yard scoring march, followed by an Andrew Pierce onside kick and recovery to set the Warriors up on the 45-yard line.
Mulligan and Zion McMullen went to work churning out yardage eventually setting up Haynes’ third rushing touchdown -- a six-yard with 3:33 left. Haynes also connected with McMullen on the 2-point conversion to give the Warriors a 42-41 lead with 3:33 to go.
But Hart County wheeled down the field on the ensuing drive, taking back the lead 47-42 and missing the 2-point conversion.
Haynes finished the night with 18 carries for 151 yards and four touchdowns. He was 12-for-23 with 170 yards passing and two touchdowns. Mulligan finished the night with 124 yards on 15 carries and Turner caught four passes for 83 yards.
“They just hung in there against a good Hart team,” Cokely said. "Our guys kept playing. Our quarterback is just one of those that you get once in your career and who just will not take no for an answer. We had a lot of fun tonight.”
White County will play host to Pickens County Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.