NORTH FULTON/FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. —Appen Media continues its Best of the Year awards for sports, including the best athletes, coaches, games and teams from North Fulton and Forsyth County in the 2016-17 high school athletic year.
This week’s conclusion features the top games in no particular order.
Milton vs. Alpharetta football
(Aug. 19, 2016)
Milton and Alpharetta kicked off the 2016 football season with a thrilling game between the rivals – and for the seventh year in a row the game was decided by one score.
Alpharetta trailed 14-12 after a missed PAT and failed two-point conversion but put together a drive in the final three minutes of the game. The Raiders reached Milton’s 26-yard line with 14 seconds remaining. Alpharetta’s lined up for a game-winning field goal, but the kick fell just short in the waning seconds, allowing Milton to escape with the victory on its home turf.
Lambert vs. North Forsyth girls basketball
(Feb. 10, 2017)
With the Region 5-AAAAAAA title on the line, Lambert trailed 56-50 with under two minutes remaining, but forced three straight turnovers and scored to tie the game at 58-58 with 10 seconds remaining.
Lambert’s M.E. Craven intercepted a North Forsyth inbounds pass and was fouled with 6.5 seconds left. She went 1-2 on free throws to give Lambert the 59-58 lead. North threw a long inbounds pass, but a scrum under North’s offensive net took up the final seconds, earning Lambert the thrilling win in the region title game.
Johns Creek vs. Harrison girls soccer
(May 13, 2017)
Neither Johns Creek nor Harrison had given up a goal in the playoffs, and in the Class AAAAAA state championship game, that was still the case after regulation.
In a game defene-minded fans loved, the struggle moved into penalty kicks. Harrison would win the shootout, and the state championship, by outlasting Johns Creek 4-2 in the penalty shootout.
Chattahoochee vs. Northview baseball
(March 24, 2017)
Northview and Chattahoochee dueled in a marathon affair late in the regular season, with Northview getting an emotional, 13th inning win on the night it dedicated its park to a former player.
Northview forced extra innings with a three-run comeback in the bottom of the seventh. In extra frames, both teams had multiple chances to score, but it was Northview who ultimately broke the stalemate in the bottom of the 13th inning, winning on a walk-off single.
Johns Creek vs. Alpharetta football
(Oct. 14, 2017)
Johns Creek held off a potential game-winning drive from Alpharetta in the final minute to win what would later prove to be a must-win for the Gladiators’ region title.
Johns Creek led 20-14 with under three minutes remaining, but Alpharetta would drive to Johns Creek’s 5-yard line, setting up a fourth-and-two with 10 seconds left. On the game-winning play, Johns Creek blitzed and batted down Alpharetta’s pass in the backfield to seal the win.
Alpharetta vs. Cambridge boys basketball
(Jan. 21, 2017)
It was a regular season matchup, but Alpharetta and Cambridge’s meeting on Jan. 21 was an exciting, back-and-forth affair in front of a rowdy Cambridge crowd.
The Bears had chipped away at Alpharetta’s slim lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but with under 30 seconds remaining, a three-pointer to tie the game missed. Alpharetta used two free-throws to go back up by five, but Cambridge hit a quick three to get within one score with 6.5 seconds left.
A foul led to a made Alpharetta free throw, extending the Raiders’ lead to 69-66 with 4.5 seconds left. Cambridge quickly drove down the court, but their three-point attempt just missed the mark off the rim.
Roswell vs. Grayson football
(Dec. 10, 2016)
If the hype surrounding Roswell and Grayson’s battle for the Class AAAAAAA football state championship wasn’t enough, the game itself proved to be an overtime thriller.
Trailing 20-13 with 58 seconds left, Roswell took over on offense needing a touchdown. With just five seconds remaining, Roswell connected on a touchdown pass as time expired to force overtime, an electrifying play to keep its hopes of a state title alive.
In overtime, Grayson connected on a field goal and then held Roswell’s offense at bay, forcing the Hornets to settle for a field goal attempt to force a second overtime. Roswell’s next field goal attempt missed, giving Grayson the win in the heavyweight fight for the state championship.
Centennial vs. Chattahoochee boys soccer
(March 10, 2017)
Chattahoochee prevailed in overtime in a matchup of two undefeated region rivals, which ultimately clinched the region championship for Hooch.
With the Cougars leading 1-0, Centennial incurred a red card early in the second half. Even playing a man down, the Knights tied the game just three minutes later. For the remainder of the game, both teams played with exhausting tenacity, with the Knights able to keep Hooch’s fast offense from scoring and even getting a few offensive chances of their own.
But 30 seconds into the first overtime, Hooch broke the stalemate to go up 2-1 and hold on for the win.
Blessed Trinity vs. St. Pius X football
(Aug. 19, 2016)
Blessed Trinity started its season with a riveting comeback win against St. Pius X, erasing a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes of the game.
St. Pius led 18-9 after scoring a touchdown with 5:08 remaining, but BT quickly responded with a 50-yard touchdown rush to cut the lead to 18-16. After forcing a punt, BT’s offense took the field with 1:25 remaining needing a score to complete the comeback.
A 60-yard pass and 17-yard touchdown rush with 18 seconds remaining gave Blessed Trinity the lead and eventual win.
Fellowship Christian vs. Prince Avenue Christian football
(Dec. 3, 2016)
Fellowship Christian earned a state championship berth by holding off a late PAC comeback in the state semifinal game.
Fellowship led 31-7 in the third quarter, but PAC mounted a comeback by scoring three unanswered touchdowns to cut the Paladins lead to 31-28 late in the fourth. Fellowship was forced to punt with two and a half minutes left, giving PAC the ball at midfield with a chance to take the lead.
But on PAC’s first play, Fellowship forced a fumble and took over on offense. PAC still had three timeouts and forced Fellowship to earn a first down to run out the clock. On third-and-six with just over a minute remaining, Fellowship elected to pass, a risk that would stop the clock if incomplete and give PAC another chance.
But Fellowship’s risky call worked out when they earned a first down with the pass and eventually won a state championship berth.