Four teams - Chattanooga Valley, Dade County, Gordon Lee, and LaFayette - with 3-4 season records met in three mini-game playoffs at Gordon Lee to determine the league's fourth and final football playoff participant.
And when all the dust had settled, it was the LaFayette Middle School Ramblers claiming the last golden ticket.
LaFayette, who easily dispatched Dade County in the afternoon's first contest, watched Chattanooga Valley pull off a miracluous comeback against Gordon Lee before holding off the Eagles in double-overtime in the night's final bout.
"It's exciting," said LaFayette head coach Wes Green. "It was a hard way to get (to the playoffs), but we felt like we deserved to get there. I know the other teams felt the same way, but I think we just played a little harder than everyone else tonight, and we're tickled to death."
LaFayette 24, Dade County 10
The night's first mini-game, which featured a pair of eight-minute halves, was over nearly as soon as it started.
KaDarrin Ramsey went 57 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, and after forcing a three-and-out by the Wolverines, Ramsey returned a punt 66 yards for a second score to stake the Ramblers to a fast 16-0 lead.
Logan Teasley made it 24-0 at the break after hitting Donte Jackson for a 35-yard TD pass with 28 seconds left in the half. Teasley also spurred the Ramblers' defense in the first half by picking off a pair of passes.
Dade County would get on the board with a safety and a 29-yard TD run by quarterback Gregory Templeton in the second half, but the Ramblers thwarted two more Wolverine possessions by forcing and recovering fumbles, earning them a berth in the final game of the night.
Chattanooga Valley 18, Gordon Lee 16
A 23-yard TD run by Drew Cobb accounted for the lone score of the first half as the Trojans enjoyed an 8-0 lead. But the Eagles would answer on their first drive of the second half as Ivy Boehm eventually snuck in from two yards out, although Gordon Lee halted the conversion attempt to maintain an 8-6 lead.
But the Eagles stopped the Trojans on downs and used three Ivy Boehm completions to drive to the Gordon Lee 13. Two plays later, Boehm got loose on the outside and beat the Trojan defense to the corner of the end zone to give his team a 12-8 advantage with 2:54 to play.
Gordon Lee would answer with an 11-play drive, taking the lead in dramatic fashion as Chaney Rogers found Kobie Cowen for a 22-yard touchdown on a fourth-down halfback pass with just 29 seconds remaining. Cobb added the conversion to put the Navy-and-White ahead 16-12.
But 29 seconds turned out to be plenty of time for Chattanooga Valley.
After recovering a short kickoff at their own 44-yard line, Markeion Jones hauled in an 11-yard pass and a five-yard Gordon Lee penalty moved the ball the Trojans' 40 with 10.9 seconds left.
Boehm then fired a pass to Marquie Davis on a seam route and Davis went the rest of the way untouched. Jones then picked off Gordon Lee's final Hail Mary attempt to give the Eagles a stunning 18-16 victory and a spot against LaFayette.
LaFayette 24, Chattanooga Valley 18
The final battle of the night was another barnburner. Boehm hit Blaine Phillips on a 29-yard TD pass to give the Eagles a lead midway through the first half, but the Ramblers rode the legs of Ramsey on the ensuing drive before Teasley snuck in from the one to tie the game at halftime, 6-6.
Chattanooga Valley opened the second half with Phillips taking a quick screen and racing 77 yards for the go-ahead score, but LaFayette countered with a 10-play, 59-yard march capped by Ramsey's two-yard TD run with 1:24 to play.
The game would eventually go to overtime and the Ramblers drew first blood as Teasley found Jackson, who slipped out of a tackle and went 12 yards for the score. The conversion attempt, however, was no good.
The Eagles came right back with Jones covering the 10 yards on two straight runs, but the Ramblers stacked up Jones a yard short on the conversion attempt, sending the game to a second extra sesssion.
Chattanooga Valley would get the ball to start the second overtime, but three plays netted zero total yards and LaFayette's Bryson Giddy ended the drive by intercepting Boehm on fourth down.
The end would come quickly as Ramsey got the call on the first play of the Ramblers' next possession. He broke two tackles before dragging two more tacklers into the end zone for the game-winning 10-yard TD run.
"Our kids just do what we ask them to do," Green added. "We had a pretty good idea of what Chattanooga Valley was going to do in a lot of instances, but we still had to find a way to stop them, and we were able to do that. We executed very well."
Ramsey finished the final game with 197 yards rushing on 19 carries after carrying seven times for 80 yards in the first game.
Boehm led the Eagles' offense by throwing for 105 yards against Gordon Lee and 146 against Chattanooga Valley. Cobb had 16 carries for 117 yards in the loss to Chattanooga Valley.
LaFayette will now play at top-seeded Heritage on Thursday in an NGAC semifinal game, and Green said he had a good feeling going into the match-up.
"About five weeks' ago we started on this journey," stated Green, whose team overcame an 0-3 start to win three of its last four games, "But we're not through yet and I think the boys feel the same way. We've still got work to do."
Rossville will play at Trion in Thursday's other semifinal. The winners will face off in the finals on Nov. 8.