The Falcons and Vikings were waging a defensive slugfest during the Troup County Parks and Recreation Commission 9-10-year-old championship game Monday night at Callaway Stadium.
With time winding down in the fourth quarter, neither team had even come close to scoring.
With less than three minutes remaining in the game, the Vikings faced a fourth-and-long, and they were forced to punt.
Charles Crawford collected the punt around the 40-yard line, and he made it to the right sideline and raced toward the end zone.
Crawford won the foot race, just making it into the end zone before being brought down by a defender.
The touchdown gave the Falcons the lead, and Jaylon Mitchell came through with an interception with 43 seconds remaining to clinch the 6-0 victory.
The Falcons and Vikings both came into the game unbeaten, and it was the Falcons who exited the stadium with their perfect record intact.
A year ago, the situations were reversed, with the Vikings getting past the Falcons to win the title.
“Last year, we were on the other end,” Falcons coach Chad Marchman said. “We had a lot of kids that came back with us that really wanted it bad. And they worked hard. We practiced a lot. I’m real proud of all of them. It’s been a great year for them.”
Both teams excelled on defense.
Positive-yardage plays were hard to come by, and first downs were rare.
Marchman said his team is built on defense.
“The way we’ve done it all year is, we started and finished with our best players on defense,” Marchman said. “That’s the way we’ve done it the whole year. We played defense, and whatever we got on offense we got.”