ALPHARETTA -- It has been 26 years since Duluth started a season 3-0, AND it will have to wait at least one more year to change that.
The Wildcats forced overtime thanks to a furious fourth-quarter rally, but fell to Alpharetta 43-41 in triple overtime Friday night in Alpharetta.
"Our kids played hard came back in the second half... we showed a lot of character," Duluth head coach Corey Jarvis said.
The Duluth offense, which amassed 384 yards, finally got things together in the fourth quarter.
Myles Campbell, who caught 12 passes for 127 yards, grabbed a short pass and weaved his way through defenders before angling away from the defense and into the end zone for the Wildcats first score of the game.
"We made a minor adjustment with the pass protection that helped to start making some plays," Jarvis said
Alpharetta answered as it used its passing attack to cut through the Duluth defense to light the scoreboard on a 26-yard pass from Dobbs to Carlos Burse to put Duluth in a 21-7 hole following the ensuing two-point conversion.
Duluth responded with a quick score thanks in part to a huge 46-yard connection between Anfornee Stewart, who passed for 330 yards and three scores, and Michael Randle. Stewart ended the drive on a two-yard scoring throw to Henry Enyenihi to cut the deficit to seven.
After the Duluth defense held, the Wildcats made big plays, first on a fourth-down conversion on a 20-yard Lavell Lawton reception than on a 24-yard rainbow from Stewart to Randle, who caught six passes for 116 yards, to tie the game following the PAT, scoring twice in the final four minutes.
Both teams scored on its first possessions of overtime, Duluth on a option throw by Campbell and Alpharetta on a conventional pass from Dobbs to Schildhammer for a 15-yard score.
Duluth appeared to stop Alpharetta in the second overtime but an interception was called back after a roughing the passer penalty was called.
Both teams scored to force a third overtime, after a Henry Enyenihi run put Duluth on top in the the third overtime, Stewart missed his receiver on the two-point conversion.
Alpharetta countered on a one-yard run by Simmons and got the winning score when Dobbs found Schildhammer open in the end zone.