In the final game played on the real grass field at Barron Stadium at Dacula High School, the Harrison Hoyas made the 70-mile trip east to take on the Dacula Falcons in a 6A semifinal game. Both teams came into the contest with spotless records and both were looking to keep their championship hopes alive.
The Hoyas got things started and took an early 7-0 lead off a David Roberts goal-line run into the endzone. On the Falcons next drive, they picked up momentum and yards and appeared to be ready to answer the Hoya score, until a fumbled ball led to a turnover on the Harrison 13-yard line and stopped the drive in its tracks. The first quarter ended with the Hoyas up, 7-0.
After only a minute and a half of play in the second quarter, the Hoyas were on the board again with a nice TD run by Mason Babay. In fact, the entire drive was on Babay’s shoulders, displaying both his running and catching abilities. With 10:27 left to play in the second, the Hoyas took a 14-0 lead. This time, however, the Falcons were able to answer by putting together a nice 80-yard drive, capped off with a rushing TD to make it 14-7 with 7:10 left in the second quarter. A 3-and-out on Harrison’s next possession and a shanked punt gave the Falcons a short field and they immediately got to work. When it looked as though they were ready to tie the game, penalties drove them backward and out of scoring range. An unnecessary roughness penalty against the Falcons on the ensuing Hoya possession gave Harrison great field possession that they were able to convert to three points thanks to a field goal right before halftime. The half ended with the score, 17-7
In the third quarter, the Hoyas picked up right where they left off with a nice kickoff return to the Falcon 43-yard line. Several plays later, Mason Babay scored his second rushing TD of the game on an 8-yard run up the middle, 24-7. The adjustments made by the Hoya defense at halftime worked perfectly and the Falcons made little offensive progress in the second half. A Hoya drive that consumed the last five minutes of the third quarter made it clear that the Falcons had no chance of winning the game. The quarter ended with the Hoyas threatening inside the red-zone.
The very first play of the fourth quarter was a 13-yard TD run for Mason Babay, to widen the lead to 31-7. A good-looking drive by the Falcons was stopped by the Hoya defense in the red-zone with an interception. When Harrison’s offense came back on the field, they put together another 80-yard drive capped off by one more Babay rushing TD, his fourth in the game. The game ended with the final score at 38-7, sending the Hoyas to the 6A Finals next weekend.
Hoya Head Coach Matt Dickmann was happy with the outcome, but recognized that there’s still much to be done. “This is kind of exciting,” he said, “but we’ve got a lot of work to do yet.” Asked about playing crosstown rival Allatoona for the championship, Coach Dickmann was humble. “At least we’re going to keep it in Cobb, no matter what the outcome is. Gary [Varner, Allatoona’s Head Coach] is a great friend of mine so I’m happy for him, too.”
The Hoyas will play the Allatoona Buccaneers for the 6A Championship at Georgia State University in Atlanta next weekend.