The remarkable turnaround of the Marietta Blue Devils shows no signs of slowing down.
Quarterback Anthony Jennings scored on a 4-yard run with seven seconds remaining to give Marietta a 35-28 victory at Lassiter on Friday in a critical Region 5-AAAAA. The win, Marietta’s fourth straight, put the Blue Devils in a position that seemed unthinkable a month ago, when the Blue Devils entered region play 0-4 overall: Their game against undefeated Walton next week will decide the region championship.
Marietta (4-4, 4-0) led 28-14 with less than eight minutes to play but gave up two touchdown passes by Eddie Printz, the second of which covered 10 yards to Adam Dowell that tied the game with 1:41 remaining.
That’s when Jennings and Ro’Mello Porter, the offensive stars all night for the Blue Devils, went to work one last time. On the second play after taking over at the Marietta 35, Porter turned a short screen pass from Jennings into a 59-yard gain to the Lassiter 6. Three plays later, Jennings scored the game-winner.
Jennings finished the night 16-for-25 passing for 223 yards and a touchdown and ran for two scores. Porter rushed for 117 yards, 99 of which came in the first half, and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
Two failed extra-point conversions by Marietta were all the separated the teams at the end of an even first half.
Lassiter (6-2, 2-2) blocked Marietta’s first extra-point attempt, after a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jennings to Marcus Bennett had cut the Trojans’ lead to 7-6 with 8:31 remaining in the second quarter.
Marietta took the lead on its next possession on Porter’s 1-yard run with 4:09 left in the half, but he was stopped short on a two-point conversion attempt.
Lassiter answered with a 58-yard drive that ended with Printz’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Donavan Crepsac with 54 remaining in the half, and Alex Hanks added his second extra point to give the Trojans a 14-12 lead.
Printz connected with Charlie Hegedus on Lassiter’s second offensive play of the game for the first score of the night. Hegedus took a short pass and took it down the right sideline for a 60-yard score less than four minutes into the game.
Lassiter held a 215-210 advantage in total offense in the first half.
Printz was 24-of-38 passing for 327 yards and four touchdowns in the game.
Marietta – 0-12-8-15 – 35
Lassiter – 7-7-0-14 – 28
L – Eddie Printz 60 pass to Charlie Hegedus (Alex Hanks kick)
M – Anthony Jennings 20 pass to Marcus Bennett (kick blocked)
M – Ro’Mello Porter 1 run (run failed)
L – Printz 33 pass to Donavan Crepsac (Hanks kick)
M – Jennings 12 run (Jennings run)
M – Porter 2 run (Jordan Mathis pass to Khallid Wallace)
L – Printz 27 pass to Juwan Dickey (Hanks kick)
L – Printz 10 pass to Adam Dowell (Hanks kick)
M – Jennings 4 run (Banks Martin kick)