This time, it came off the foot of kicker Carlos Saldana, whose 27-yard field goal as time ran out gave the Eagles a dramatic 42-39 victory over Campbell in a Region 4AAAAAA battle Friday at Clay Stadium.
South Cobb’s latest last-minute drive began after it recovered a Campbell fumble at the Eagles’ 30-yard line with 37 seconds remaining.
Masha proceeded to move South Cobb down the field with passes of 14, 32 and 15 yards that took the Eagles down to the Campbell 9 with 3 seconds left.
Saldana took it from there as he kicked the ball through the uprights from 27 yards out as the clock wound down to zero to secure another nail-biting win for South Cobb.
The victory gave South Cobb its first 4-0 start since 2006.
“I’m very proud of my kids,” coach Ed Koester said. “Couldn’t get anything to go our way. We couldn’t catch a break. We couldn’t get anything to go our way defensively. Offensively, we did all right. We made plays when we had to. It’s a sweet win, a very sweet win, whether it’s one point or a thousand points. A win’s a win.”
South Cobb, which is now 2-0 in region play, racked up 549 yards of total offense, with quarterback Stephon Masha providing 407 of that yardage.
Masha completed 18 of 27 passes for 277 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for 130 yards on 15 carries and another score.
Chauncey Ingram rushed for 134 yards on 12 carries and scored four touchdowns — three in the first half — and Ryan Sumner caught eight passes for 130 yards and a touchdown.
For Campbell (2-2, 0-2), Ricky James completed 13 of 19 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns, while Darius Harris rushed for 152 yards on 23 carries and four scores. Marlon Horne caught six passes — including both of James’ scoring strikes — for 173 yards.
In all, the Spartans gained 467 total yards.
Campbell appeared to be in control after James threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Horne with 10:16 remaining in the game, increasing the Spartans’ lead to 39-32.
However, South Cobb came right back with a 13-play drive that culminated in Masha’s 6-yard touchdown run to even the score at 39-all with 4:45 left.
Campbell jumped out to a 13-0 lead on a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs by Harris in the first quarter. South Cobb then came back with a couple of scoring runs — including a 41-yard run by Ingram in the second quarter — to tie it up at 13-all.
The game continued to be a roller coaster. Campbell surged ahead 25-13 in the second quarter, only for South Cobb to come back to take a 26-25 lead early in the third quarter.
It remained that way until the Eagles’ late surge in the final period.
“In our region, there are going to be a lot of tight games,” Campbell coach Harris Rainbow said. “(South Cobb is) a tremendous football team — a great football team. I want everyone to get out of this game that we’re a great football team, too. We’ve got a long way to go, but we’ve got some of the best kids anywhere, and there’s no team in the world I would rather coach than Campbell High School.”