East Lawrence drops heartbreaker in overtime

East Lawrence running back Cayden Rivers tries to avoid a Phil Campbell defender during the Eagles' loss to the Bobcats Friday night. 

CADDO – On  a rainy mess of a night, East Lawrence and Phil Campbell met for one of the best classics of the 2021 season. Unfortunately, someone had to come out on the losing end.

East Lawrence fell to Phil Campbell 36-35 Friday night, losing in overtime after the Bobcats converted on a two point conversion for the win.

“It’s hard to put this into words,” said East Lawrence head coach Sean Holt. “Our guys did everything I asked them to do, they battled to the last play. Someone had to win and someone had to lose and unfortunately we came out on the losing end.”

Phil Campbell started the game with a bang as Hudson Hyde broke free on the first play for a 60 yard scoring run to make it 6-0.

The score didn’t last for long though as Bralyn Robinson returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown.

The Eagles added two more touchdowns, both Cayden Rivers runs (1 and 14 yards) to take a 21-6 lead, before the Bobcat scored two touchdowns of their own to make it 21-20 at halftime.

In the second half quarterback Peyton Kelly found Jaylan Smith for an 11 yard score to make it 28-20 going into the final quarter.

The  biggest play of the game midway through the fourth quarter. After stopping Phil Campbell on fourth and goal, the Eagles were tackled in the endzone for a safety.

The play gave the Bobcats new life as they scored on their next drive to make it 28-28.

“That was huge, I don’t know where that guy came from but it was a big play,” Holt said. “But then again us stopping them on the two point try to keep it 28-28 was a big play as well. This game was just full of big plays on both sides.”

East Lawrence had a chance to win just before regulation, but Kelly’s heave to Robinson in the endzone fell short.

In overtime Kelly connected with Dawson Terry for a 10 yard touchdown. However, the Eagles were unable to hold on fourth and goal from the one, before Phil Campbell scored the game winning two point conversion.

The win secured the two seed in Class 3A Region 8 for Phil Campbell, while the loss puts East Lawrence in win or go home mode. The Eagles will need to win next week at Colbert Heights to help secure a playoff spot.

“If we beat Colbert Heights I think we’re in,” Holt said. “I have confidence that we can get it done. If we play next week like we did tonight, I think we'll be just fine.” 

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