The Eagles secured second place in Region 6-AA and home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 42-35 win over Chattooga Friday.
Coosa (8-2, 8-2) will host Dawson County in the first round next week, while Chattooga (7-3, 7-3) heads to third-ranked Buford.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of this team,” said Coosa coach Scott Chandler, who got an early shower from a water bucket. “We got behind early but kept playing and got back into it.”
Coosa’s Patrick Dupree rushed for 142 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Blue Cooper rushed for 108 yards and passed for 102 and fullback Matt Staples rushed for 93.
Chattooga’s Ronnie Wiggins, the area’s leading rusher, was merely human on Friday, rushing for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
Coosa overcame three turnovers and a 20-7 first-quarter deficit in a game completely void of defense until the very end.
Chattooga had a short field most of the night, either off fumbles by Coosa, or huge kickoff or punt returns by Ronnie Wiggins.
But in the final minutes, with Coosa nursing a 42-35 lead, the Eagles’ defense forced two incomplete passes inside their 35-yard line to secure the win.
“It was a classic game,” said Chattooga coach John Starr. “You hate to lose, but I can walk out of here feeling like both teams played as hard as they could.”
The game almost became a classic backside whipping after Chattooga scored on the first play of the game and Coosa followed it by coughing up the ball twice.
Chattooga had scored on a 76-yard halfback pass by Mark Johnson to Jacquez Wiggins to start the game. But Coosa countered with a 9-yard run by Dupree and the game was tied 7-7 after the PAT.
On Chattooga’s next drive, Coosa made the first of two huge goal-line stands in the game and got the ball on its own 6-yard line.
Two plays later, however, Chattooga got the ball back on a fumble. Two plays after that Ronnie Wiggins took it in from 5-yards out.
On the ensuing kickoff Coosa fumbled away to the Indians again. On the first play of the drive, Jacquez Wiggins hit John Starr Jr. on a 36-yard touchdown pass. The point after failed, leaving Chattooga ahead 20-7.
Coosa followed with 14 unanswered points on touchdowns by Dupree and Staples and the Eagles led 21-20 at halftime.
Cooper scored on Coosa’s first drive of the second half on an 8-yard run, pushing the lead to 28-20.
But once again, no defense could be found on either side.
Ronnie Wiggins scored on Chattooga’s ensuing possession from three yards out and after the two-point conversion the game was tied.
Once again, Coosa scored on its next drive on a 2-yard run by Dupree, which was set up by 40- and 26-yard runs by Staples. After the George Galvis PAT, Coosa led 35-28.
But, surprise, Chattooga wasn’t finished. Jacquez Wiggins called his own number on a touchdown run with 5:51 to play and the game was tied 35-35 following the kick.
Dupree, as he had done all night, took it in from a yard out with 3:18 to go in the game, setting the final exhausting margin after the PAT