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Posted: October 2, 2012 8:15 p.m.

Fazio: Making the best of second chances

Alcovy had a chance to pick up its first Region 2-AAAAAA win Friday, sending out Rysan Richardson for a 45-yard field goal with 4 minutes left in a tie game.

As the ball smashed into the goal post, leaving the Tigers without the much-needed three points, the game against Luella still remained in the air with both teams continuing to have a chance.

In overtime, Alcovy and Richardson had another chance at a three-point lead, and didn't waste it. Despite missing out on a game-winning kick minutes earlier, that didn't stop Richardson or his coach Kirk Hoffman, from sending him out there.

Sure enough, the second time was the charm and Richardson banged through the 27-yarder as Alcovy held on to defeat the Lions 24-21.

It was William Edward Hickson who said the words many of us have lived by since we first started swinging off a tee, kicking a soccer ball or trying to jump on the pile during a football game, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again."

But it's the world of sports which brings that proverb to life for many week in and week out.

After all, those words could very well be the basis of practice, were you continually run plays or go through drills in order to get it all right for the big game. As individual players and teams faced dire circumstances Friday night, they all showed that giving up is not a good option.

It took the Braves four chances in the National League Championship Series to win a World Series, and they never traded away Greg Madux, John Smoltz or Tom Glavine. LeBron James wasn't driven out of town in Miami, either, after a disappointing championship-less first season.

That's one of the reasons we are drawn to sports, because not only does it show that hard work pay off, but also it's the best arena for second chances - no pun intended.

Friday Richardson was allowed to keep on kicking. A couple of weeks ago, Colton Smith was also allowed to keep kicking after missing out on a 40-yard field goal. The result was that he later connected on one of Eastside's longest ever kicks, a 45-yarder.

The same showed true for Georgia's Marshall Morgan, who had missed some extra points before drilling a 50-yard field goal to tie the Tennessee at 30 heading into the locker room at halftime.

Anything can happen, even if we are already shown that maybe it can't happen. Maybe it's just the thoughts of a term paper coming back with a poor grade, equivalent to a bill for the same class next semester that makes second chances something to behold. Perhaps that's just me. But I think everyone can relate to the chance at redemption.

If that's an indicator to the joys of sports, than this weekend brought us plenty to celebrate.

Beyond Richardson there were other second-chance successes this weekend.

For Eastside, two players were given second chances with suspensions earlier this season, and both delivered in big was against Madison County. Offensively, Alex Smith broke out in a big way providing 85 yards and a touchdown on the ground, another 91 yards and a touchdown on three catches and a return for a touchdown. Marcus Griffeth also led the defense with 17 tackles, coming back to help lead the Eagles to a big victory.
At Newton, the Rams struggled throughout its loss to Langston Hughes. But the Rams continue to work on getting points on the board, and have found a quality feature running back in James Hardeman, who after two games finally found the end zone for Newton's first points in a 31-7 loss over Valdosta on Sept. 21.

Newton may have lost all four of its games to open the season but with six chances left, the Rams will continue to be a team to draw attention as we all hope to see a redemptive, second-chance story of a team finally able to overcome so many losses.

That's the nature of sports. While championships are rewarded, second-chances are a key plot point of the original reality entertainment.

Sports Editor Bryan Fazio can be reached at (678) 750-5038 or at bfazio@covnews.com.

 

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