Hawkinsville quarterback Dakota Sloan ran in from 4 yards out with just 1:16 left in the game to lift the visiting Red Devils to a 21-14 win over Pacelli.
Pacelli finished the regular season at 7-3. The Vikings will now wait on the power ratings to come out to see if it finished in the top 16. They were No. 12 in the private-school ratings earlier this week.
"This was just a good high school football game tonight," said Pacelli coach Randy Grace.
"I feel like we got a little out-athleted tonight by a good football team. Our kids fought hard and played hard and I am very proud of them. 7-3 is a great year for Pacelli and we believe we will get the chance to keep playing. We are very proud of our first winning season since 2007."
Pacelli took the early lead after pinning Hawkinsville inside its own 10 early in the first quarter. Starting with good field position at the Red Devil 35, Wyatt Peterson drove the Vikings to a score in just five plays.
The two big plays of the drive were a 17-yard completion from Peterson to Mikal Marble and a 15-yard horse-collar penalty on Hawkinsville that put the Vikings at the 10. DeAndre Bowman carried the final four yards for the score and Kevin Jacobs added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 4:14 to play in the first period.
After and exchange of possessions, Hawkinsville mounted its first scoring drive, also starting in excellent field position at the Viking 32. Just four plays later, Dontavious Grace rambled in from 10 yards out on the second play of the second quarter. Jose Sanchez added the point-after to tie the game at 7 with 10:49 left in the half.
The Red Devils got the ball back and ate up nearly seven minutes of time in driving to the Pacelli 5. On first and goal, Grace appeared to score the go-ahead touchdown, but an illegal chop block nullified the score. The Viking defense stiffened and held the visitors out of the endzone, forcing an incompletion on fourth and goal from the six to take over on downs. The half would end knotted at 7.
Hawkinsville wasted no time in taking its first lead of the night in the second half. The Red Devils took the kick and methodically marched 73-yards in nine plays - all on the ground. Bruising back J.D. Burden bulled his way in from nine yards out and the Sanchez kick put Hawkinsville up 14-7 with 7:54 to play in the third.
After an exchange of punts, Pacelli got the equalizing score on a big play. Facing third and 13 from his own 39, Peterson found Bowman over the middle on a post route and the sophomore turned on the jets and outran the Hawkinsville defense for a 61-yard touchdown play.
The Jacobs kick slipped over the crossbar to tie the game at 14 with just 90 seconds left in the third period.
Pacelli began the fourth period with another tough defensive stand.
Friday at Diemel FieldHawkinsville 0 7 7 7--21
Pacelli 7 0 7 0--14
P - DeAndre Bowman 1-yd run (Kevin Jacobs kick) 4:14
H - Dontavious Grace 10-yd run (Jose Sanchez kick) 10:49
H - J.D. Burden 9-yd. run (Sanchez kick) 7:54
P - Bowman 61-yd. pass from Wyatt Peterson (Jacobs kick) 1:30
H - Dakota Sloan 10-yd. run (Sanchez kick) 1:16
Records: Hawkinsville 7-3, 5-2 Region 4-A. Pacelli 7-3, 4-3. Next Game: Pacelli, state playoffs TBD