Instead, the Trojans turned in their best and most inspired performance of the season.
Gordon Lee was awarded a safety with just under six minutes remaining in the game, and those two points proved to be the difference as the Navy-and-White held on for a 16-14 win over the Eagles in a North Georgia Athletic Conference showdown.
The Trojans were forced to play the Dade County game on Monday. That game had originally been slated for Sept. 13, but postponed due to a lack of game officials.
Tailback Drew Cobb, who missed Monday's game due an illness, gutted out 183 yards on 25 carries and scored both touchdowns for the Trojans, while the defense held the high-powered Eagles to just 54 yards on the ground and 85 through the air.
"We knew we would be short-handed on Monday," said Gordon Lee head coach Tony McAllister. "We had our heads down after that loss, but the next day, we had probably one of the best practices we've had all year long. It was amazing how positive the kids were. I think they understood that even though we were 0-3 at the time, we weren't a typical 0-3 team. It's a tribute to them to be able to beat a really good Chattanooga Valley team. We're fortunate."
A fourth-down sack by Noah Davenport stopped Chattanooga Valley's opening drive of the game at the Gordon Lee 21, and the Trojans would need just six plays to score. Cobb went for 16 and 33 yards on his first two carries before capping the 74-yard march with a 10-yard TD run. The two-point conversion attempt was no good.
An interception by Alex Harris ended the Eagles' next drive, but after a Gordon Lee punt, Chattanooga Valley finally got their offense on track. Tyler Cutts ended the 40-yard drive with a seven-yard scoring run, but a failed conversion run kept the score tied 6-6.
The two teams each put up one more touchdown in the final 4:30 of the first half. Cobb had a three-yard run with 1:07 to end an eight-play, 79-yard drive, but Chattanooga Valley countered with three seconds left in the half as Blaine Phillips connected with Ivy Boehm on a 57-yard scoring strike. Both conversion attempts were successful.
The lone points of the second half came early in the fourth quarter.
Chattanooga Valley had taken over on downs at their own 11-yard line, and two runs by Cutts netted them eight yards. But back-to-back five-yard penalties pushed the ball back to the nine and a high snap on third down bounced across the goal line. Marquie Davis pounced on the ball for the Eagles to prevent a Trojan touchdown, but the resulting safety gave Gordon Lee a two-point lead with 5:59 remaining.
The Eagles would get the ball back with 2:28 to play at their own 25, but Caleb Butcher sacked Phillips on second down, and Caleb Boyd came through the Eagles' line unblocked on fourth down for a final sack to seal the win.
"Our motto this year is 'earn it', and we've challenged them all year long to do just that," McAllister said. "I couldn't be more proud of them today. This is the team we should have been all season long, but this is also the first game we've played with everyone healthy."
McAllister credited his coaching staff for coming up with a gameplan to keep the ball away from the Eagles' offense.
"I don't think there's a better middle school coaching staff around than the guys we have," he added. "They all looked at it and put together a good gameplan and we stuck with it the entire time. I think we finally started to wear (Chattanooga Valley) down, and because of them wearing down, I think that caused a couple of miscues on their part. Our coaching did a great job."
Gordon Lee got 47 yards on seven carries by Chaney Rogers and 23 from Butcher on seven carries to finish with 242 yards on the day. Phillips was 3-of-8 in the air. Boehm paced the running game with 24 yards on seven carries, while Phillips and Cutts added 18 yards each.
Chattanooga Valley (2-2) will host LaFayette on Tuesday, while Gordon Lee (1-3) will entertain Ringgold on Thursday.