The Eagles (1-4, 0-1 Region 6A-A) opened the scoring with a 27-yard run from T.K. Tuggle before the Lions (4-1, 1-0) answered back with a pair of touchdowns.
Nathan Bernhardt scored from four yards out to go into the locker room knotted up at 14-all.
“I’m very proud of our kids,” MZ coach Keith Holloway said. “We’ve been in every game we’ve played this year. We’re just one play away from turning the corner.”
With the game tied 21-21, Bernhardt scored his third touchdown of the night, as he capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive to give the Eagles the 27-21 lead with just 2:12 left to play.
MZ had Christian Heritage backed up to its own 27 facing third-and-20 when Trevor Brown connected with Nich Bartley for the touchdown pass with 40 seconds left in the game, giving the Lions the lead and the win.
The Eagles rushed for 306 yards on the ground in 47 carries led by Bernhardt.
All three losses on the season have now come by a combined nine points for Mt. Zion.
Next week the region schedule continues on the road, as the Eagles travel to face Southwest Atlanta Christian next Friday.
Jamie Jones of the Dalton Daily Citizen contributed to this story.