Lithonia rallied late in the game to win for the second week in a row, this time beating Miller Grove 29-21 in triple overtime on Friday at Hallford Stadium.
The Bulldogs needed a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie the game 21-21 with 32 seconds remaining. Quarterback D’Angelo Smith led the Bulldogs on a 95-yard drive, and scored on a 9-yard run to cut Miller Grove’s lead to 21-19. Smith passed to Tedrian Thompson for the two-point conversion and the tie.
Neither team scored in the first two overtimes, then Smith opened the third overtime with a 15-yard run for a touchdown. Denzel Veale ran for the two-point conversion. The Lithonia defense stopped Miller Grove on fourth-and-3 from the 8-yard-line as a pass from quarterback Ken Allen fell incomplete. Miller Grove’s first two possessions in overtime ended in an interception and a blocked field goal.
Last week Lithonia scored with 10 seconds remaining to beat Lakeside 28-27. The Bulldogs are 2-1 overall and in Region 6-AAAA while Miller Grove falls to 1-2.
“Winning games late like this let’s them know we’re never out of the game,” Lithonia coach Marcus Jelks said. “We did a good job on defense in the overtime.”
Lithonia was its own worst enemy for most of the game. All three of Miller Grove’s touchdowns were the result of Lithonia turnovers. The Wolverines were held to 40 yards total offense in regulation and two first downs.
After Lithonia fumbled on the second play of the game, Miller Grove took over at the Bulldogs 9-yard-line and scored two plays later on a by Carlton Hardwick. Lithonia answered with two touchdown runs by Veale to lead 13-7 in the third quarter.
But a fumble by Veale on Lithonia’s next possession led to a 25-yard touchdown run by Miller Grove’s Terrance Wortham as the Wolverines reclaimed the lead 14-13. Miller Grove stretched the lead to 21-13 when Chris Pate intercepted a pass by Smith and returned it 5 yards for a score.
But Smith redeemed himself by going 4-for-5 for 75 yards on the game-tying drive. He was 10-for-17 for 182 yards with two interceptions for the game.
“Late in the game D’Angelo made a huge play for us on the two-point conversion to get us into the overtime,” Jelks said. “He made a couple of bad decisions early. But for some reason he’s a lot better late in games than he is at the beginning.”