MARIETTA — Pope broke up a last-ditch pass with 33 seconds left and picked up its first victory of the season with a 26-23 victory over Lassiter on Friday at the Pope Multi-Sport Complex.
“It was unbelievable. It was a classic game,” Pope coach Tab Griffin said. “I kept telling our guys — we had a seven-game stretch of brutal games, and I just said to keep trusting the process, and it will pay off. We kept fighting, and it paid off tonight”.
Lassiter (3-5, 1-3 Region 7AAAAAA) rushed for 60 yards on it first drive of the game and capped it off with Bryson Harrison’s 1-yard touchdown run to go up 7-0 in the first quarter.
The Trojans had more than 200 rushing yards as a team, with Harrison having 111 yards on the ground and Joe Blackwell adding 91.
Lassiter capitalized on a Pope fumble on the next drive with a 21-yard field goal by Drew Campbell to go up 10-0.
Pope (1-7, 1-3) got on the board on its third possession of the game with a 63-yard pass from Patrick Lowe to Dan Ward to make the score 10-7 late in the first.
Ward finished the game with two catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. Lowe was 7-for-10 for 155 yards and four touchdowns through the air.
Lassiter scored on their next drive with a 18-yard touchdown pass to Parker Hungerbuhler to make it a 17-7 game in the second quarter, but Lowe hit JT Way on a 13-yard touchdown completion with 1:17 left in the second quarter to make it a one possession game, 17-13.
Lassiter attempted a 52-yard field goal before halftime, but the attempt missed.
Pope started the second half scoring 14 unanswered points to take the lead. Both touchdowns came through the air as Lowe connected with Logan Rapp for 29 yards on the first possession to make the score 19-17.
On the next drive for the Greyhounds, Lowe found Sosuke Watanabe on a 2-yard touchdown pass on third down to make it 26-17 in the third quarter.
The Trojans found the end zone in the middle of the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run by Joe Blackwell and make it a 26-23 and a one-possession game.
Pope turned the ball over on downs after getting to its own 34-yard line, giving Lassiter a chance to tie the game or win it with under a couple minutes left in the game.
The Trojans got to Pope’s 34-yard line, but a penalty backed them up to almost midfield. Pope broke up both passes on third and fourth down to secure the victory.
Pope will travel to Johns Creek next Friday, while Lassiter will be at Sprayberry. Lassiter, Pope and Sprayberry are currently tied for fourth place in the region with a record of 1-3.