The chances were there, but the Eagles just couldn’t make them count.
East Lawrence recovered two onside kicks and two fumbles in the second half. The ensuing results were turnover on downs, three and out, fumble and turnover on downs.
It was ultimately what kept the Eagles from getting a shot at winning the game.
“We’ve got to be playmakers and we’re just still not making those plays when we need to,” said head coach James Moore. “We’ve got to capitalize on turnovers and opportunities. We had four there in the second half, but couldn’t do anything with them. We’re making too many mental mistakes.”
East Lawrence had their chances early in the first half too, driving into Tiger territory three times and coming away with no points. The Eagles attempted a fake field goal on fourth and one from the Tiger 14 that was unsuccessful.
After being stuffed early, Lauderdale County turned to a modified wishbone that got their running game going and allowed them to score two touchdowns near the end of the half.
Dylan Hunter scored a 23 yard touchdown for the Eagles to cut the lead to 14-7 at the half. Hunter finished with 137 yards rushing and two touchdowns, including a 79 yard score. Hunter Letson scored the other touchdown on a one yard run set up by a 57 yard run by Levi Barnes.
East Lawrence cut the lead to 20-13, which incited the biggest reaction from the crowd. Failing to move on the ensuing fumble ultimately killed their momentum.
Early in the fourth quarter, Lauderdale County scored two touchdowns, one on a freak pass that ricocheted off a players facemask, and another on a punt return, that put the game almost out of reach.
The Eagles fought back to almost make a small comeback in the end. The fight was something Moore liked to see from his kids.
“I’m proud of them, they played their butts off. It hurts me so bad because these kids are trying their dangdest to win one of these big games,” Moore said. “It kills me because I want these kids to get there. We’re going to get there, I promise you. These kids are this close to figuring it out and they're going to get there.”
East Lawrence will return home for the first time this season next week when they take on Locust Fork.