SNELLVILLE -- Dacula's Rocky Capobianco converted a bobbled snap into a two-point conversion in overtime and the Falcons' defense stopped South's two-point attempt as Dacula squeeked out a 22-20 Region 8-AAAAA victory at Richard Snell Stadium on Friday.
The game went into overtime knotted at 14 and Dacula had the ball first. Capobianco, last year's starter and this year's part-time quarterback, ran the ball on three successive plays. The senior's last carry scored from the one. As the Falcons and kicker Davian McEwan snapped for the conversion, Capobianco had trouble corraling the snap. Capobianco rose up and rolled right, with no one available he wheeled back to his left and found Alex Armah dragging in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion.
The Comets, who fought gamely all night, needed four plays to score their touchdown in the extra period. Three plays after Mason Hart connected on an 11-yard completion to Bernard Morrison, Morrison carried the ball around the left end to pull South within two. After a timeout, Hart rolled to his left and pitched to Josh Boyd on the option, but the sophomore running back was tackled at the five. The Dacula players mobbed the field and each other as the South players knelt in disbelief.
The game started much slower than its finish. Neither team was able to put up a score in the first quarter and both teams had field goal attempts come up short in the second quarter. With 1:25 left in the half, the Comets lit the scoreboard first when Hart's pass to Tyrone Atchison was nearly intercepted by a Dacula defender, who tipped the ball. Atchison stayed with the play and caught the pass and raced the remaining 40 yards to complete the 64-yard touchdown. Amar Salihic converted the extra point and South led 7-0.
South's Defense held, but the Comets muffed the punt return and Dacula recovered on the South 19 with 45 seconds left until halftime. After a pass interference call against South extended the drive, Dacula's other quarterback, Brandon Goodson, connected on a 9-yard scoring strike to Marcus Cox with 6.4 seconds left. McEwan was good on the extra point and the teams went into half tied at 7.
South took the second half kick and drove deep into Dacula's territory only to have its drive stalled by a holding penalty, which moved the ball out of field goal range. The Comets defense held the Falcons to a three-and-out and took over its next possession on its own 45.
Mixing pass and run, the Comets moved to the Falcons' 21 where this time the home team was on the receiving end of a pass interference penalty. With the ball on the 11, Isadore Davis took the ball on the belly option over the right side and scored. Salihic's conversion was good and South led 14-7 with just under two minutes left in the third quarter.
As it did all night, Dacula came right back. They quickly moved down the field and reached the Comets' 7. However an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty pushed them back to the 22. It didn't matter as on the first play of the fourth quarter, Goodson connected with Zentavias Cobb on a post pattern in which the receiver slid in the end zone and caught the ball just off the ground. McEwan's conversion knotted the game at 14.
South had two chances to win the game in the fourth quarter. The first opportunity ended on the Dacula six when the Comets fumbled and lost the option pitch on third down. The last opportunity came with 1:37 left in the game when Salihic's 45-yard field goal attempt went barely wide left, setting up the wild overtime finish.