It was not the case for either Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County and Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County, as the two met Friday night with the AAAAAA, Region-1 championship on the line, as well as the top seed in the upcoming playoff bracket.
With three SEC commitments on field in the big game, each held their own in what resulted in a tough fought 22-15 win for Camden County. But it was the last chance for Colquitt that was the microcosm of the night, as it drove down the field, only to be stopped with less than a minute remaining courtesy of Kalvaraz Bessent's game-sealing, diving interception.
"I was reading the quarterback , he rolled out, and I didn't even see a wide receiver...but I kept my eyes on the ball and picked it off," he said after the win.
The Alabama commitment was playing a hybrid safety position unique to the Wildcats defense. He rotated between that and the traditional cornerback spot all night.
"It's just apart of the defense we run, it's called 'double-claw,'" Bessent said. "The 'pony' rolls out and takes number one (receiver) and I play on the hash, like center field."
It worked, and the four-star cornerback projection capped a productive night on both sides of the ball with a handful of tackles, 20 yards rushing, 9 receiving and the game-clinching INT. In between, Colquitt County actually tested the 6-foot, 170-pounder through the air, and even noted head coach Rush Propst got in on the talking with him.
"Me and the head coach, it's great competition," he said. "I like him as a coach, he's very competitive."
Another competitive player for the Wildcats was unavailable in the second half. After re-aggravating an ankle injury, fellow Tide pledge Chris Williams didn't see many plays on Friday night, but he still coached up Bessent with what he could.
"Me and Chris are pretty close, we've been close since sixth grade, we just like playing with each other," Bessent said. "I motivate him and he motivates me. We'll both do it at Alabama, too."
The two will be back in Tuscaloosa sometime after the playoffs, but Alabama remains steady on keeping up with its pair of teammates on the commitment list.
"Kirby [Smart] was just down here last Friday watching up play Lowndes," he said. "So they keep in touch with us a lot."
Other schools are attempting the same.
"Ohio State is really trying, Florida State and Auburn, too," Bessent said. "I listen to them, I take head in everything that every coach says. You never know what could happen at Alabama, nothing is guaranteed until national signing day.
"But I'm pretty solid to Alabama."
The pair of four-stars and Camden County will now host a playoff game next Friday night.