As if going up against the state's leading rusher wasn't enough of a challenge, the Heritage Generals also had to deal with injuries to two key starters on Friday night and fell behind by two touchdowns in the first quarter.
And yet, they still found a way to get it done.
Freshman Brady Chandler's quarterback sneak with three minutes to go and Anderson Britton's ensuing extra point completed the comeback for the Generals, who handed Central-Carroll a 28-27 Region 7-AAAA loss at Jeff Sims Field.
Central (4-2, 1-1), led by powerful tailback Narada Levett, who came into the game with a Georgia-best 1,230 yards on the ground, led 14-0 after the first quarter. Levett had a 4-yard touchdown run in the first period, while the Lions would add a 42-yard interception return later in the stanza.
Kaden Swope, who got the start at quarterback against the Lions, got the Generals on the board in the second quarter with a 68-yard touchdown pass to Logan Lowe and Britton's extra point made it 14-7 in favor of the visitors.
Swope would leave the game shortly thereafter with an upper-body injury, but senior Nick Hanson responded with a 44-yard scoring strike to Lowe and Britton's extra point would pull Heritage even at 14 apiece.
However, on the ensuing kickoff, the Lions took it all the way to the house as the 95-yard return and subsequent point-after gave visitors a 21-14 halftime lead.
The Generals (4-3, 1-1) would tie the game up again on an 11-yard TD run by Hanson in the third quarter and Britton's third PAT of the game. A 1-yard sneak by quarterback Beau Ivy would put the Lions back in front later in the period, but only by six points as Heritage managed to block the extra point.
Late in the fourth quarter, and with the Generals on the Lions' doorstep, Hanson was forced to come out of the game for one play after his helmet came off. But Chandler was able to get the ball across the goal line on his first carry of the season and Anderson's point-after gave Heritage its first lead of the night, 28-27.
Needing just a field goal to potentially win the game, Central went to the air. However, Ryan Heet, who had a big game receiving in the second half, came up with perhaps the biggest defensive play of his young career as he intercepted a Central pass with 1:45 to play, sealing the victory for his team.
Lowe had 130 yards receiving in the first half, but was shaken up and did not play in the second half. Heet stepped up with over 100 yards receiving in the final two quarters. No further statistics were available as of press time.
Heritage will have another big game next Friday night back at home against Northwest Whitfield (4-2, 0-2). The Bruins remain winless in region play after a 44-8 loss to Cedartown on Friday.