ROSWELL -- Collins Hill head coach Billy Wells told his players that one single play didn't determine the outcome of Friday night's game with Roswell, but those in attendance will certainly remember the last one.
Trailing 27-24 in the second overtime, Roswell receiver Charles Boyd made a spectacular leaping catch over a Collins Hill defender in the end zone, breaking the hearts of the Eagles with a 30-27 double-overtime win in the first round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs.
"He's a great player and made plays like that all night long," Wells said of Boyd. "Our kid was in great position but he just made a great play on that one."
Boyd's catch nullified a spectacular comeback by Collins Hill, which trailed 14-0 at the half and 21-6 early in the fourth quarter but rallied with 15 points in the final 8:32 to force overtime.
The first of those fourth-quarter scores came on a 28-yard screen pass from Taylor Heinicke to Charles Perkins, while Dustin Hallmark hauled in a 9-yard TD pass from Heinicke with 4:37 left to play.
The Eagle defense, which was pushed around early by Roswell's offense, stiffened in the closing seconds and gave the Eagles a chance to win in regulation. That stop set up Chris Caspari returning a Roswell punt from his own 25 all the way to the Hornets' 45 with 36 seconds left.
However, Roswell's defense didn't budge and forced Collins Hill backward, sending the game into overtime.
That's when it really got tight.
Roswell (10-1) took possession in the first overtime and worked the ball all the way to the Eagle 1-yard line. Facing third-and-goal from the one, J.P. Douglas was stuffed on a quarterback sneak, setting up a fourth-and-1.
Roswell called timeout and took too long on the sideline, ultimately resulting in a delay of game penalty. That forced the Hornets into a field goal attempt, which Richie Leone cleanly hit from 28 yards after a second straight delay penalty.
The Eagles took over and immediately grabbed momentum when Perkins burst up the middle for 10 yards to the 5-yard line. Perkins, who finished with 81 yards on 21 carries, picked up two more on the next play but was tackled for losses on the next two plays, forcing Collins Hill (8-3) to call on Craig Tanguay for a 23-yard field goal.
The Eagles had the first possession in the second overtime and missed on three straight pass plays. The three incompletions for Heinicke were a rarity as he finished the night 17 of 30 passing for 264 yards and three TDs.
Tanguay briefly put the Eagles up 27-24 with a 32-yard field goal but Roswell advanced to the second round on the game's next play with Boyd's catch.
"I thought in the second half, we just forgot about the scoreboard and gave it everything we had," Wells said. "We've got a lot to be proud of with such a great effort and it's unfortunate for someone to lose a game like that."
Roswell opened the game with an eight-play, 91-yard scoring drive, capped off by a 22-yard run from Duvall Smith. Smith led the Hornets in rushing with 91 yards on 17 carries, while Martez Sumler added 67 yards on 17 rushes.
The lead was extended to 14-0 in the second quarter when Douglas scored on a 2-yard sneak. Douglas was getting his first start of the year after previous starter Brian Hickman left the team after last week's game with Lassiter and played well, passing for 211 yards on 13 of 21 attempts.
Of those 211 yards, 142 went to the Vadnerbilt-bound Boyd, who also had a 41-yard TD catch early in the fourth to put Roswell up 21-6 before Heinicke guided the Eagles back.
Heinicke completed passes to six different receivers with Jeff Glover leading the way with five catches for 108 yards and a TD, that coming on a 59-yard pass play in the third quarter for the Eagles' first score. Perkins also caught three balls for 55 yards and a score while Josh Cunningham (three catches, 23 yards) and Cameron Nolan (three catches, 39 yards) had solid games.
Roswell will get another shot at a Gwinnett County team when it travels to Grayson next week for the second round.