For the second week in a row, a defensive play gave East Lawrence a win in a close game.
The Eagles allowed Class 3A, Region 8 opponent Lauderdale County to come within one point after a 1-yard touchdown with 1:51 left. Lauderdale County went for a 2-point conversion in hopes of taking the lead, but East Lawrence stopped the Tigers at the line of scrimmage to win 14-13 at home and improve to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in region play.
“We will fight you for four quarters,” East Lawrence coach Bo Culver said. “We try to be opportunistic on defense.”
The goal-line stand came a week after a 92-yard fumble return by defensive back Isaih Hubbard gave East Lawrence a three-point win over West Morgan.
The goal-line stand wasn’t the only big play against Lauderdale County for Culver’s defense, either. Lauderdale County took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter to strike first.
Later in the first half, the Eagles forced a fumble and fell on the ball at Lauderdale County’s 35-yard line. The offense then capitalized as quarterback Levi Barnes took a quarterback draw 35 yards to the end zone to tie the game at 7 heading into halftime.
“Our guard destroyed a lineman,” Barnes said. “The offensive line opened up a big hole for me, and there was no one in front of me to stop me.”
The two teams reached a stalemate in the second half with it being knotted at 7 for all of the third quarter and most of the fourth. East Lawrence’s defense then came up big again with 6:06 left.
Defensive back Dawson Terry intercepted a Lauderdale County pass, cut all the way across the field and returned it more than 30 yards for a 14-7 Eagles lead.
“We weren’t moving the ball very well, so I told the defense to pick us up,” Barnes said. “They just kept getting stops for us.”
Lauderdale County’s offense answered, but the Eagles did not break and held on for the one-point win.
“We pride ourselves on preparation and knowing what we’re going to get when the game starts,” Culver said. “We didn’t play that well, but we fought and won.”