Last night, the South Cobb Eagles made the short trip south to take on the Pebblebrook Falcons. When the schools meet it is known as “The Battle of the Nest,” since both have bird mascots and are separated by only a few miles. With the Falcons in 7A and the Eagles in 6A, the game is about local bragging rights; the victor gets to claim supremacy in the Austell/Mableton “nest.”
During opening weekend, the Eagles’ first game was cancelled due to COVID concerns, and the Falcons lost a close game to Peachtree Ridge. The experience gained from already playing one game was evident as the Falcons looked more composed and comfortable on the field. Pebblebrook struck first, putting a TD on the board early in the game.
The Eagles were not to be denied though, answering the Falcon TD with one of their own with less than 4 minutes left in the first quarter. Pebblebrook quickly added more points, with a drive highlighted by a long QB keeper by Craig Adams, Jr. and capped with a 15-yd TD reception by WR Damion Thompson. South Cobb momentum stalled on their next drive with a fumble recovery by the Falcon defense at midfield and the first quarter ended with Pebblebrook up, 6-14.
The Falcon drive to open the second quarter was an indicator of how the entire game seemed to go for the Eagles. Strong upfront play from the South Cobb defense had the Falcons on their heels, facing a third down and 30. It looked certain that the Eagles would get the ball back with decent field position. Certain, that is, until Adams, Jr. quickly broke the huddle and tossed the ball ten yards downfield to wide-open sophomore receiver T.J. Holmes, who took it to the house for a 70-yard TD reception. Pebblebrook extended their lead to 6-21.
Back and forth and penalty-riddled play consumed most of the rest of the second quarter, until Eagle QB Terrence Clark was sidelined with a punishing hit by the Falcon defense. Freshman QB Javon Clark was called in and lit an offensive spark, chipping away yardage with his feet and closing the half with a 36-yard TD throw to senior WR Dimmytrice Gabriel. A two-point conversion gave the Eagles new life, and the half ended with South Cobb down by seven, 14-21.
Any momentum the Eagles took into the second half was spent early in the third quarter. An interception on their opening drive, and the ensuing 80-yard scoring drive by the Falcon offense was enough to awaken the home team and its fans. Conditioning and hydration was a factor as Eagle players were cramping up all over the field. The third quarter ended with Pebblebrook on the move, 14-28.
South Cobb’s defense was able to withstand the Falcon advance, bringing up a 4th and 9. Pebblebrook’s field goal unit came on, but the kick sailed wide. A flag on the play for running into the kicker gave the Falcons a second try, but an offsides penalty gave the Falcon offense a whole new set of downs. They quickly took advantage with a TD reception to the left corner of the end zone to widen their lead to 14-34.
Another TD from each team as time wound down made the final score 21-40. Pebblebrook would retain local bragging rights to football dominance for another year; this was their third consecutive victory over the Eagles.
Both teams host home games next Friday. Pebblebrook welcomes Mundy’s Mill and South Cobb plays their first home game of the season against regional opponent Lassiter.