“We wanted to start fast and we were able to do that with two great special teams plays right off the bat, and our defense put us in position to get those special teams plays,” Marietta coach Scott Burton said.
After digging too deep of a hole against North Cobb in their previous game, the Blue Devils (7-3, 6-2) scored four first-half touchdowns off of two blocked punts, a fumble recovery and an interception on their way to a 42-7 halftime lead.
Marietta blocked the first two Harrison punt attempts to race out to a 15-0 lead less than 4 minutes into the game. Peter Savic recovered both blocks and scored when he ran the second recovery in from the 20 yard line.
The Hoyas (4-6, 3-5) mustered a 53-yard drive on their third possession, but turned the ball over on downs at the Blue Devils 5-yard line.
Anthony Jennings connected for gains of 60 and 25 yards with Kenny Norwood and Tyree Harris respectively on the ensuing drive. The Blue Devils did their best to take themselves out of scoring range with two holding penalties and a false start. However, on third-and-31 Jennings stepped up into the pocket before tucking the ball away bolting down the sideline and scored from 40 yards out after side-stepping Harrison’s last defender.
“We played pretty good on offense at times, but we had a tough time stopping those quick screens,” Harrison coach Bruce Cobleigh said.
Jennings connected on scoring passes of nine and 14 yards on the Blue Devils next two positions, and KirVonte Benson ran a score in from 82 yards out after picking up a fumbled handoff just before the end of the first half.
A season rife with adversity comes to an end for the Hoyas as does the illustrious career of Cobleigh, who was filling in after the departure of Marty Galbraith.
“I’m pretty confident that (Harrison) will get the right guy,” Cobleigh said. “You know it’s a good job and I think they can get a good person. We’ve had a lot of adversity, but we’ve had a good group that worked real hard and I wish I could have done a better job for them.”
Marietta will travel to play Lowndes in the first round of the playoffs in lieu of North Cobb’s victory over Campbell.
“It’s an opportunity to go down there and represent the city of Marietta and our great school system,” Burton said.
“Obviously Lowndes is a formidable program but Marietta has got a lot of history too, and we’re going to ride our history down there and hopefully represent folks well and come back with a big win for Marietta and for Cobb County.”