Over the past three years, the East Coweta Indians have made it a habit to pull out dramatic wins in overtime.
They did it again on Friday when Kaleb Harris blocked a Sandy Creek Patriot field goal in overtime to give the Indians a 23-20 victory.
It is their fourth overtime victory over three years; they defeated Starr's Mill to open the 2020 season and did the same to Collins Hill later in the year. Last season they won at Newnan in the same fashion.
Early on, it did not look like East Coweta would have a chance to get to the extra period for the victory. They fell behind 14-0 in the first three minutes of the game on an Amari Latimer touchdown run and fumble recovery scoop and score by the Patriots' defense.
The Indians slowly and methodically pulled themselves back into contention. They cut the lead in half after a 34-yard touchdown pass from Christian Langford to Jayshon Stegall, both sophomores.
On the touchdown play, Langford set up in the pocket, moved slightly to his left, and found Stegall open over the middle on a cross route.
On their next possession, Trey Bowles led the way with a 49-yard run to the 2-yard line, and then he finished it from there with a tough touchdown run to tie the contest at 14-14.
On the long run, Bowles was patient at the line of scrimmage as his offensive line moved the defense out of his way, and he got a huge downfield block from Brady Tillman.
East Coweta took their first lead of the game on a Brock Beldon 32-yard field goal. A Brandon Johnson interception set up the points by the Indians' defense.
With the game seemingly in hand, Sandy Creek showed why they are ranked as high as fifth in their classification when they intercepted an East Coweta pass and scored to retake the lead. The Patriots missed the extra point in a foreshadowing of things to come.
Beldon kicked his second field goal of the night in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 20-all and set the stage for the final dramatics.
The Indians got first possession and retook the lead on Beldon's third field goal of the game. The Patriots attempted a field goal on Sandy Creek's possession, and a Kaleb Harris block sent everyone home.
Harris lined up on the end of the right side of the defensive line and used his athleticism to get to the ball for the block.
After the game, East Coweta Head Coach John Small said, "We were glad we had a close game like that against a quality opponent; we wanted to see where we are. After going down 14 points, our guys never wavered; they went back to their training and figured out they could play. They are a resilient group."
The schedule does not ease up; they welcome the Lowndes County Vikings (2-1) to Garland Shoemake Memorial Stadium this week. It is another opportunity to see where they are before the region schedule begins on Oct. 7 against Carrollton.
NTH sportswriter Derrick Teagle contributed to this story.