Apex snapped its four-game losing streak in an impressive fashion Friday night.
The Cougars’ Gavin Locklear intercepted a pass near the goal line late in the fourth quarter to preserve a stunning 27-24 upset victory against Athens Drive.
It was the first Tri-Nine Conference loss for the Jaguars who fell to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the league. Apex earned its first conference win to improve to 2-4 and 1-3.
The game was played in miserable conditions. Lightning delayed the start of the contest by nearly two hours and the field was a soggy mess.
But it must have seemed like a beautiful night to Apex who has struggled mightily since winning its season opener.
Athens Drive broke a 14-14 tie in the fourth quarter as quarterback Jason West tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Brad Bowling for a seven-point lead.
With the help of a Jaguars fumble, the Cougars were able to answer back. Freshman quarterback Ian Boyd connected with John Hernly on a 22-yard scoring strike for a 21-21 tie with five minutes left in the game.
The Jaguars once again regained the lead as Tommy Evanoff drilled a 45-yard field goal for a 24-21 advantage with just less than two minutes remaining.
Apex responded with an 81-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown run by Boyd with 1:10 left.
Athens Drive quickly moved into Apex territory on its final possession and even appeared to take the lead on a 39-yard touchdown pass. But the potential game-winning scoring was nullified by a penalty with less than 30 seconds remaining.
The Jaguars advanced to the Cougars 22 before West’s pass was intercepted at the 1-yard line.
Boyd led the Apex attack by throwing for 105 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
Athens Drive’s Dominique Lynch rushed for 234 yards on 37 carries.
Apex travels to Holly Springs (2-4, 1-3) on Friday night.