Eventually, somebody had to come out on top.
It took nearly four hours, but playing in front of a raucous home crowd in their season opener, Coosa outlasted Trion 51-45 in a four-overtime instant classic.
Coosa head coach Joey Mathis picked up a signature win in his Eagles debut.
“You just got to keep coaching them through the situations, and that’s so big for us being so young,” Mathis said. “It’s all about situational football. They did a good job with it and hung in there and we found a way to win.”
The end of regulation found the teams tied at 28-28 and wearing thin on stamina.
After the teams exchanged touchdowns in the first and second overtimes, Coosa had to settle for a 30-yard field goal from Jose Reyes in the third overtime but was able to prolong the game with their defense by forcing Trion’s kicker, Wesley Ramirez, to kick a game-tying field goal from 27 yards out.
In the final overtime, with the stadium at a fever pitch, Coosa recovered a muffed Trion snap at the four-yard line to set up a Hayden McBurnett game-winning touchdown run.
“We just found a way to make a play when it mattered,” Mathis said.
Coosa (1-0) jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after a Terry Curry rushing score and a McBurnett to Keshawn Kindred pass-and-catch touchdown.
Trion (0-1) responded by riding their running back, Rob Brown, to three unanswered rushing scores and a 22-14 halftime lead. Brown would end the game with four total touchdowns on the ground.
In the third and fourth quarter, a Coosa defense led by Jaxon Thomas and D.J. Driver locked in and held Trion to just six second-half points. Offensively, Terry Curry ripped off an electric run for a 33-yard score and the fourth quarter had Eagles fullback Billy Settlemoir rumble in from 15 yards out for the game-tying touchdown.
With Trion starting quarterback Logan Eller injured in the final few minutes of regulation, Connor Deparlier stepped in to take snaps and try to take the Bulldogs the rest of the distance. The backup performed admirably in relief, leading the offense to 17 points over the first three overtimes before the high snap led to the Coosa go-ahead score in the fourth OT.
Coosa will play next Friday against Lookout Valley (TN), while Trion will take on Model.