Lonnie Ratliff

LAWRENCEVILLE — Duluth hung on Friday night for a 36-34 win over Discovery in a Region 7-AAAAAAA football game between two playoff hopefuls.

The Wildcats (3-2, 2-1) built a 36-14 lead in the second half when Lonnie Ratliff IV threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Rishon Spencer, but Discovery (2-4, 1-1) scored 20 unanswered points in a comeback attempt.

Devin Martin’s 45-yard TD run and a 22-yard TD run by Richard Seay, followed by a two-point pass from Rashad Ray to Nate Wilson, trimmed Discovery’s deficit to 36-28. Seay, who had 17 rushes for 131 yards and two scores, reeled off a 60-yard TD run to get his team within 36-34. Seay was stopped just short on a two-point conversion run as Duluth maintained the lead.

A diving interception from Darryl Walton gave Discovery another chance, but its 32-yard field goal was blocked by Duluth, which then ran out the final 2 minutes, 21 seconds for the win.

Ratliff completed 12 of 20 passes for 287 yards and four scores to lead Duluth, while Spencer had two catches, both TDs, for 150 yards. Anthony Miller added three catches for 30 yards and two TDs. Jaiden Jones had six catches for 96 yards, as well as 10 rushes for 40 yards. Nyle Ervin added a 17-yard scoring run for the Wildcats.

Ray rushed four times for 55 yards and a score, and also threw for a score. In addition to his TD run, Martin had two catches for 25 yards and a TD, a 20-yarder from Ray just before halftime that cut the Duluth lead to 29-14.

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