With just 2 seconds left in the game, Ian Shannon connected on a 49-yard field goal, lifting the Blue Devils to a 24-21 victory over North Cobb at Emory Sewell Stadium on Friday.
“I didn’t know how far it was but I’m just really thankful I got the opportunity,” said Shannon, who holds the school record for field goals in a season, the latest giving him 12 this year.
“Ian is obviously a huge weapon for us,” Marietta coach Scott Burton said. “The one thing on his resume that he has not accomplished up until (Friday) was a game winner and it really doesn’t get any bigger than that. We’re obviously very proud of him.”
Brenton Martin also rushed for two touchdowns for the Blue Devils (7-2, 5-2 Region 4AAAAAA), who also ended their five-game losing streak to the Warriors (7-2, 6-1).
The win means Marietta now has a one-game lead over Harrison for the region’s final playoff spot. The Blue Devils will face the Hoyas next week with the winner going to the postseason.
For North Cobb, the loss delayed the Warriors winning their first region title since 2007. To do that, North Cobb will have to beat Campbell next week in the final game of the regular season.
With 2:33 left and the score knotted at 21-21, Marietta just needed to get in field goal range and KirVonte Benson did just that. The junior running back started the drive with a 17-yard gain to place the ball at midfield.
Then on his next six carries, he moved the ball 20 yards to North Cobb’s 32 and Scott Burton called a timeout with only 2 seconds remaining.
North Cobb followed by using a timeout to hopefully freeze Shannon. But after Jordan Mathis took the snap, Shannon booted it through the uprights to start the celebration.
“I was trying to protect myself because I knew everybody was going to hit me,” Shannon said.
“They have an explosive offense on the other side,” Burton said. “We did not want to give them the ball back at all.”
Shannon also made kicks from 37 and 43 yards, respectively. His 43-yard kick in the third quarter erased a 14-point deficit for the Blue Devils.
“Our sideline was resilient and tough tonight,” Burton said. “We’ve been preaching that for a long time and it was nice to see the proof in the pudding.”
After completing a 45-yard pass to Marcus Bennett, a 32-yard pass to Mathis and turning a fumbled snap into a 7-yard gain, Mathis plowed his way into the end zone from 1 yard to give Marietta a 21-14 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
But North Cobb converted a lost fumble by Benson into a touchdown to tie things when Tyler Queen found Devin Granville in the corner of the end zone for an 18-yard completion with 4:46 left.