And when Coosa Christian got the ball back on their 43-yard line with just 33 seconds left to play, it looked like they might be able to take the game into overtime.
But as the crowd at Donoho got to their feet and started chanting “Don-o-ho, Don-o-ho” the Falcons defense did what they needed to do as pass after pass fell to the ground harmlessly, and Donoho held on to preserve their 28-20 win and improve their record to 3-1.
Facing a third and 9 with the ball on their own 33-yard line, Donoho decided to just run the ball, and the clock, instead of trying to make a first down through the air.
The Falcons coaching staff never doubted their defense’s ability to win the game.
“We felt like our D could hold them,” said Donoho head coach Shannon Felder. “The defensive coordinator said ‘Coach, we got them’ and we played pretty good and we held on and won the game.”
The Falcons forced four incomplete passes using a good mix of pressure and coverage.
Felder said he would rather not have to depend on his defense so much to win games.
“We are not pleased with how we ran the ball the second half,” Felder said. “We’re going to work on closing out games this week.”
The game started with a confident Coosa Christian marching 75 yards all the way to the Falcons’ 4-yard line.
But after three unsuccessful runs to the outside, the Conquerors went to the air on 4th and goal and Coosa Christian’s Quarterback Johnny Manning threw the ball right into the hands of Donoho’s Paul Lalonde who took the interception six yards out of the end zone.
But Coosa Christian got an opportunity to score first as Falcons quarterback Will Nunnelley threw a backward lateral through the hands of Adam Ledford on second down and the ball rolled into the end zone and was jumped on by Coosa Christian defenders for a touchdown. A missed extra point would start the game off 6-0.
Donoho found an instant answer as Will Montgomery found some space on first down and ran 69 yards to paydirt. A blocked extra point would tie the game at 6.
Coosa Christian responded with another solid drive by running the ball to the outside, capping their drive off with a 15-yard touchdown run by senior running back Josh Manning. The 2-point conversion failed, and the Conquerors led 12-6.
Donoho fullback Walker Mason faked a punt and sprinted for 30 yards to Coosa Christian’s 11. Mason punched it in from 14 yards out to even the score, and the extra point would put Donoho ahead 13-12.
Nunnelley threw a perfect fade into the hands of Montgomery from 14 yards out to extend Donoho’s lead to 21-12 after a successful 2-point conversion.
“A lot of guys made a lot of contributions out there,” said Felder. “In the passing game we did about what we expected to do.”