Despite an 0-2 start to the season, the Heritage Generals will play for an NGAC championship.
The Navy-and-Red punched its ticket to the show with a dramatic, 18-12, double-overtime victory at Chattanooga Valley on Thursday.
The Eagles drew first blood early as the Generals muffed the opening kickoff. CVMS recovered and scored on the ensuing drive, but missed the extra point.
That would be all the scoring for the first three-and-a-half quarters, but Heritage would get the ball one final time in regulation. A 25-yard punt return by Jacob Lozano with four minutes to play got things rolling and two fourth-down conversions kept things going before quarterback Kaden Swope tied the game with 40 seconds to play.
However, the point after attempt failed and the game would go to overtime.
Heritage scored first in the first extra session, but failed on the conversion. However, the Eagles also missed their extra point after scoring the tying touchdown, sending the game to a second OT period.
This time, the Generals defense responded by keeping the Eagles off the board to get the ball back for its offense with a chance to win. That chance turned out to be successful as running back Marcus Hagler punched it in for the winning points.
Dillon Shropshire and Amarreon Turner both scored for Chattanooga Valley, who limited Heritage to less than 100 yards of offense in the loss. Defensive standouts for the Eagles included Johnathan Woodall, Logan Montgomery and Jacob Klein.
Ringgold 46, Rossville 0
The other semifinal game on Thursday was devoid of any drama as unbeaten Ringgold plowed their way to a shutout victory over the Bulldogs.
Kori Dumas had a rushing and a receiving touchdown, while Kyle White ran for a score, passed for another and was 2-for-2 on conversion passes. Malachi Hill and Aaron Elswick each had offensive touchdowns, while Robbie Bates recovered a fumble and returned it for a score. Mason Parker and Jordan Wideman chipped in with one conversion each.
The Tigers (7-0) have won their last four games by shutout and have outscored their seven opponents by a combined 302-26 this season, including a 38-8 home win over Heritage back on Sept. 7.
The title game will be played at Don Patterson Field in Ringgold at 4:30 p.m. next Thursday.