GAC tastes first loss from Chamblee in OT

Photo: Craig Cappy GAC's Trevor Dedecker tackles Chamblee's Joe Hines during Thursday's game.

Photo: Craig Cappy GAC's Trevor Dedecker tackles Chamblee's Joe Hines during Thursday's game.


Photo: Craig Cappy Chamblee's Jalen Williams (19) gets tackled after after making a catch by GAC's Micah Abernathy (4) during the first half of Thursday's game.

ATLANTA -- Down 14 points at halftime and failing to dent the scoreboard in the first two quarters, Greater Atlanta Christian was searching for answers against Chamblee in a battle of undefeated teams.

Most of those answers came through for GAC in the second half, but overtime spelled a disappointing finish in the end as Chamblee pulled out a thrilling 27-24 win over the Spartans at Adams Stadium.

Tied at 21-all entering overtime after Chamblee blocked a GAC field goal attempt from 28 yards with five seconds remaining in regulation, both teams got points on their only possession of the extra period.

Unfortunately, GAC could only muster a Brandon Holzgrefe 29-yard FG to start things in overtime to take a 24-21 lead.

Chamblee then got its hands on the ball and found the end zone on a Dezmin Reed 1-yard blast on fourth down to snatch the victory in a wild back-and-forth affair.

"It's OK to hurt when you get beat because we've invested so much into this team and this program," said GAC head coach Tim Hardy. "If it doesn't hurt, you didn't put anything into it. It's also OK to be disappointed, but not discouraged. We're a good football team and so is Chamblee. They simply made one more play than we did."

After a scoreless first quarter, Chamblee found the end zone twice by going on a pair of long, time-consuming drives.

Chamblee's first drive actually started midway through the first quarter and stretched 1:04 into the second quarter.

Starting at its own 23 following a GAC punt, Chamblee went on a 16-play, 77-yard drive and scored when Davin Bellamy hauled in a 17-yard pass from Jordan Branch to make it 7-0.

After a GAC drive stalled at the Chamblee 32, the Bulldogs went right back to work and completed a 10-play, 68-yard drive when Reed plowed in from six yards out to increase the lead to 14-0 with just 37 seconds left in the opening half.

GAC did move down to the Chamblee 29 in the closing seconds of the half, but couldn't punch it in.

GAC came on fire in the third quarter and tied the game at 14-all thanks to a pair of TD runs from Kyle Scales.

The Spartans went 80 yards in nine plays to open the half and then went 62 yards in eight plays.

After Darius Slayton blocked a Chamblee field goal that would have given the Bulldogs the lead, GAC quickly went 80 yards in five plays with Scales once again scoring on a 3-yard run to put the Spartans up 21-14 with 7:31 remaining in the fourth quarter.

But Chamblee had one more burst and tied the game at 21-21 on Deonte Boyland's 4-yard run with only 3:36 to go in the game.

"I thought we grew up a little bit in the second half when we didn't get out of the gate very well in the first half," Hardy said. "We're still a young football team and we've got a lot of football still to play this season. I'm proud of them for the way they came back and stayed in it tonight. Bottom line is you can't spot a good football team 14 points like that."

Scales finished with 131 yards on 31 carries and three TDs, while GAC quarterback Rafe Chapple was 9 of 16 for 178 yards, including five passes to Chris Williams for 133 yards.