RALEIGH — Broughton kicker Hayden Pezzoni delivered a chip-shot, 21-yard field goal with 17.3 seconds to give the Caps a 23-21 win over Athens Drive on Thursday night.
The kick seemed easy enough. Especially after the offense pieced together three crucial third-down conversions on a 16-play drive that took the Caps (2-1) from their own 7 to as close as the opposing 3-yard-line.
But an earlier blocked extra point, which had left the door open for Athens (2-1) to take a fourth-quarter lead, had some of the Broughton faithful biting their fingernails before Pezzoni's boot gave the Caps the winning score.
"Luckily our guys understood, and they overloaded [on the final try]. We switched our tackle over to give us more time, and it worked good," Broughton coach Chris Martin said.
No play was bigger in that winning drive than quarterback Will Cooper's 45-yard bomb on third-and-13 from his own 13. Senior Clay Jones battled three Athens defenders before coming up with the catch.
N.C. State commitment Juston Burris, who had three catches on the drive and five catches for 72 yards and a score for the game, gave Broughton a chance when he intercepted a halfback pass from Andrew McMillian with little more than six minutes left.
The halfback pass came one play after Athens' Cameron Boone had picked off Cooper, which at the time, seemed like it could have been a game-sealer.
"I don't know if we could've ran out the clock if we wouldn't have done it, so it was as good as a punt," Athens coach Jeff Smouse said. "We just got to stop them."
On Burris' first touch of the game, he scored after a quick slant pass from Cooper from 15 yards out. Cooper finished the game going 19-of-33 for 175 yards with two touchdowns and two picks.
Broughton held that 7-0 lead until the final play of the first quarter, where running back Chris Mangus got loose for a 58-yard touchdown.