It was one of those you-had-to-be-there games, because you wouldn’t believe it otherwise.
Senior quarterback Brody Sparks has turned heads this season, but Friday night he took it to a whole other level: He threw the ball, ran the ball and intercepted the ball. The only thing he didn’t do was call the plays, but he probably could have done that, too, as Lawrence County rolled into Ardmore and came away with a 41-21 win.
“He’s a gamer. There’s nothing else you can say about him,” said Lawrence County head coach Rich Dutton. “He did that in various roles for us last year, but this year he’s kicked it up another gear.”
Sparks finished with 295 yards passing, 204 yards rushing and five total touchdowns. He also picked off two passes on defense.
All this for a first-year starter at quarterback.
“I don’t even think about it really when I’m out there,” Sparks said. “I’m just out here giving it my all.”
Lawrence County opened the scoring on their first offensive play when Sparks hit Micah Owens for an 80-yard strike. He also connected with BenMichael Bennett for touchdown passes of 61 and 23 yards in the first half.
Despite his play though, Ardmore wasn’t making it easy for the Red Devils.
Connor Harbin helped the Tigers capitalize on a fumble by running it in for a score from six yards out. Chris Allen also returned a fumble 70 yards for a score.
Still, Lawrence County led 27-14 at halftime thanks to Sparks’ three touchdown passes and a Gage Dutton touchdown run.
Sparks added two more scores in the second half, a 17-yard pass to Garrett Lee and an 83-yard run. Ardmore scored on a 16-yard pass from Owen Doss to Caden Hodges to make the final 41-21.
Ardmore, which came in on a three-game winning streak to open the season, could never really find a rhythm on offense.
"Lawrence County came in with a bigger team than we ‘ve faced, and they pushed us around,” said Ardmore coach PJ Wright. “We looked like a team that had a long homecoming week. It was like we were in a fog all night.”
The Tigers don’t want the momentum from their best start in 7 years to go away.
“That’s what we talked about. We wanted to win, but we knew we had to have a plan if we didn’t,” Wright said. “These kids are resilient. They’re going to handle this a lot better than us coaches will.”
“I believe in myself, and I believe in this team,” he said. “We’re ready for this.”