But when everything was said and done at 12:02 AM on Sunday morning in the Georgia Dome, the Grayson Rams were crowned state champions for the second time.
Roswell seemed in control for much of the game, but the Rams came alive down the stretch. Grayson took a 20-13 lead on a touchdown pass from Chase Brice with under two minutes to go, but the Rams allowed Roswell to march down the field. As time expired, Roswell was able to connect on a 10-yard touchdown pass that, after the PAT, tied the game and sent it into overtime.
Interestingly, the rules for the overtime came about after Roswell tied Peachtree Ridge for the state title in 2006: each team gets the ball on the 15-yard line. All you have to do is score and hold the other team to no score, and you win.
Grayson missed on a couple of opportunities for a touchdown and eventually settled for a 25-yard field goal that Will van Pamelen sent shaky into the heavens but through the uprights. Roswell missed on three straight plays before attempting their own field goal – a 32-yarder that sailed right to end the game in Grayson’s favor.
The game was tense, but the season’s objective was achieved. And while we celebrate with the Rams and their friends and fans and families, perhaps the most fitting way to end this story is with what happened right after the Roswell kick sailed beyond the goalposts.
While players and fans cheered, Grayson’s first year head coach Jeff Herron ran onto the field – and consoled the young kicker from Roswell.
After all, winning isn’t just about the final score.