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Magee Trojans march past Lawrence Co. 34-25

MAGEE – The Magee Trojans defeated Lawrence County 34-25 infootball action Friday night.

MAGEE – The Magee Trojans defeated Lawrence County 34-25 infootball action Friday night. The homestanding Trojans overcame anearly deficit with 26 unanswered points, then held off a late LCHSrally to claim the victory. The Trojans got a 175-yard rushingeffort from tailback A.J. Holloway.

With the win, Magee, a periennial 3A contender, raised itsrecord to 1-1 on the young season. Lawrence County, the reigningstate 4A champion, saw its 15-game winning streak come to an end.The Cougars had not lost since a first-round playoff loss toColumbia in 1998.

Third-year Lawrence County head coach Danny Adams, whose Cougarssuffered only their third loss in 28 games, put it bluntly. “Thebest team won the game.”

It would be hard to argue with Adams’ assertion. Thoughstatistics were fairly even. Magee was in control for most of thenight. After LCHS jumped to a 13-8 first-quarter lead, Magee reeledoff 26 straight points. Lawrence County did make a legitimateattempt at a comeback in the fourth quarter, but the Cougar rallyfell short.

Things couldn’t possibly have started better for the Cougars. Onthe first play from scrimmage, quarterback Jerry Smith burststraight up the middle for 77 yards and a touchdown. JohnathanEley’s PAT kick gave LCHS a 7-0 lead.

The Lawrence County lead didn’t last long. Magee ripped off runsof 16 and 18 yards on its first two plays from scrimmage, part of aseven-play, 69-yard drive that ended with Holloway’s nine-yard TDrun. Quarterback Brian Hayes added a two-point run and Magee led8-7.

Undaunted, the Cougars bounced right back, driving 68 yards in12 plays to regain the lead. Eley eventually hammered his way infrom one yard out to give LCHS a 13-8 lead. A two-point attemptfailed. After that, Magee took control of the game.

The Trojans returned the ensuing kickoff to the Lawrence County28-yard line. Eight plays later, Hayes hit Mario Craig with afour-yard touchdown pass. Hayes again ran for two points to giveMagee a 16-13 lead.

After an exchange of punts, Magee pinned the Cougars down at theLCHS four-yard line. Three plays later, Lawrence County quarterbackJerry Smith was sacked in the end zone for a safety, increasing theMagee lead to 18-13.

At that point, Lawrence County was still very much in the game.But just before the half, Magee broke the Cougars’ collectivebacks. On fourth and twenty-six with 20 seconds left beforeintermission, Hayes hit Craig in the back corner of the end zonefor 36 yards and a touchdown. The shell-shocked Cougars went intothe intermission trailing 26-13.

The two teams battled evenly throughout a scoreless thirdquarter, but the Trojans seemingly put the game away with atouchdown in the opening seconds of the fourth. Magee led 34-13 atthat point.

Lawrence County tried to make a game of it by scoring in itsfinal two possessions. First, the Cougars drove 66 yards in nineplays. Smith sneaked across from the one, making it a 34-19 game.Next, after a Wayne Hardy fumble recovery, LCHS drove 49 yards innine plays. Smith scored his third touchdown of the night, thistime from seven yards out. On the night, Smith carried 17 times for141 yards. An important two-point attempt failed, and Magee hadsecured its first win of the season.

With the two tough, season-opening forays into Simpson Countybehind them, the Cougars will make their home debut this Fridaywhen they host the West Jones Mustangs. The West Jones game will bethe first of four straight home games for Lawrence County.@Bbstandings:STATISTICS W L First Downs 12 13 Rushes-Yards40-130 43-276 Passing Yards 1 73 Total Yards 311 349 Passes 1-6-04-8-0 Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-1 Punts-Average 2-32 2-36 Penalties-Yards9-81 11-86 Time of Possession 22:30 25:30 Lawrence 13 0 0 12 – 25Magee 8 18 0 8 – 34 FIRST QUARTER LC – Smith 77 run (Eley kick) M -Holloway 16 run (Hayes run) LA – Eley 1 run (run failed) SECONDQUARTER M – Craig 4 pass from Hayes (Hayes run) M – safety M -Craig 36 pass from Hayes (Hayes run) FOURTH QUARTER M – Holloway 9run (Hayes run) LC – Smith 1 run (pass failed) M – Smith 7 run (runfailed) INDIVIDUAL LEADERS RUSHING: LC, Smith 17-141, Eley 13-88,Sibley 10-81. PASSING: LC, Smith 1-6-0, 1. RECEIVING: LC, Sibley1-1.