Centennial erased a 12-point deficit in the final two minutes to beat 36-35 Friday night in a regular-season finale in Roswell.
With the help of a recovered onside kickoff, the playoff bound Knights (5-5, 4-2 in Region 6-AAAAA) scored twice — on a Jimmy Meyer touchdown pass at the 1:53 mark and a run by Cyril Teal with 45 seconds then — then sacked Northview quarterback Evan Jacks on the final play after the Titan had driven to the 13 to pull off an incredible comeback.
Centennial, the third seed from the region, will play at Marietta next week in the first round of the state playoffs. Marietta is the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AAAAA.
Northview, which had a chance at a playoff berth with a win and a Milton loss to Roswell (Milton won 14-13 with a touchdown in the final minute, too), finished the season 3-7 overall, 2-4 in the region.
"I feel terrible for Northview. That coach [Chad Davenport] should be the Coach of the Year and that quarterback [Evan Jacks] should be the player of the year. He's unbelievable," Centennial Head Coach Jeff Measor said.
The game couldn't have begun better for Northview. Terry Brown returned the opening kickoff to the 44-yard line, and three plays later Jacks found a wide-open Terrance Upshaw for a 53-yard touchdown pass, giving Northview an early 7-0 lead.
The Knights went for it on fourth down twice on their first possession, making it both times. They would eventually settle for a 41-yard field goal by Connor Davis, cutting the Titans lead to 7-3.
The Knights then recovered a surprise on-side kick and immediately took the lead at 10-7 on Meyer's 46-yard touchdown pass to Christian Robinson.
The Titans answered back on their next possession. Jacks ran a quarterback keeper down to the Knights 11, then found Austin Rose for a touchdown pass and the Titans regained the lead 14-10.
Centennial came right back on Meyer's 1-yard run. The extra point was blocked by the Titans' Evan Sather, but the Knights were up 16-14.
Northview took a 21-16 halftime lead when Jacks scored on a 34-yard run with 47 seconds on the clock.
Upshaw's 8-yard run with 11:39 left in the third quarter made it 28-16.
After both teams fumbled the ball away, Centennial mounted a scoring drive that included four completions from Meyer to Robinson. After a Northview pass-interference penalty move the ball close to the goal line, Meyer connected with Francis Wade for a touchdown to cut Northview's lead to 28-23 with 4:42 left in the game.
The Titans struck back. On third-and-15 from their own 32, Jacks threw a screen pass to Upshaw, who ran it 68 yards for a touchdown, giving the Titans a 35-23 lead with 3:38 left.
On Centennial's next possession, Meyer completed three passes to Robinson and one to Wade, and after a Northview roughing-the-passer penalty moved the ball down to the Titans 12, Meyer found Robinson in the end zone to make the score 35-30 with 1:52 left.
Centennial was successful again with an onside kick, recovering the ball near midfield. On first down, Meyer completed a pass to Robinson to the Northview 30. Then Meyer completed a pass to Wade to inside the 20, followed by a Teal run to the 2. Teal scored from there for a 36-35 Centennnial lead.
Jacks gave the Titans a chance with a 52-yard pass completion to the Centennial 13. Being that the Titans were out of timeouts, Jacks spiked the ball on the next play. However, Jacks was sacked by Centennial's Alex Estes, ending the game and the Titans season.