Lawrence Co. has more offense than Magee, 55-34
Published 5:00 am Monday, September 17, 2001
MONTICELLO – The Lawrence County High Cougars outgunned Magee55-34 in a high school football shootout Friday night at LCHS. TheCougars rushed for an incredible 477 yards on 48 carries andcombined that with just enough defense to get their second win ofthe young season.
On this night, the Cougars rode the Herculean effort of seniorhalfback/linebacker Wayne Hardy. Hardy, who rarely comes off thefield on Friday nights, rushed for a whopping 235 yards on just 12carries. He scored four touchdowns on runs of 1, 31, 65 and 44yards to put together one of the greatest rushing nights inLawrence County history. He also had another 47-yard run in thegame.
With the win, Trent Hammond’s Cougars improved to 2-1 on theseason. Magee, the defending state 3A champion, fell to 1-2. Forthe second week in-a-row, the Cougar victory avenged a defeat fromlast season.
“It was a great win for our kids,” Hammond said. “Any time youbeat Magee in a high school football game, you’ve done something.Magee is great offensively and we had a tough time stoppingthem.
“Thankfully, our offenses came up big tonight. I’ve spent mostof my coaching career on the defensive side of the ball, so thisisn’t my favorite kind of game. It was sure a good win though.”
A year ago, the Cougars went just as far as Johnathan Eley’slegs would carry them. From day one, Hammond has tried for a morediverse attack. For the third straight game, that’s just what hegot. Along with Hardy’s big night, Charles Barnes (121 yards), Eley(82 yards) and quarterback Jason Snell (39 yards) all hadproductive rushing nights.
The offensive fireworks’s didn’t take long to get started. Aftera Dexter Haynes pass interception early in the game, the Cougarsdrove 40 yards in six running plays to grab a 7-0 lead. The leadwas short-lived however. Two plays later, the Trojans’ Kory Moorebroke loose on a 70-yard touchdown jaunt to make it a 7-6 game. Atwo-point conversion attempt failed.
Lawrence County didn’t take long to get that one back, going 68yards in seven plays, the final 31 yards coming on Hardy’s secondtouchdown of the night. LCHS led 14-6.
After Magee battled back to tie it at 14-14, Eley’s thirdstraight extra-point kick made it 21-14. With one minute to play inthe first half, the LCHS special teams came up with their biggestplay of the season. Hardy broke through to block a Trojan punt andCharles Brown covered the football in the end zone, giving LawrenceCounty a 27-14 halftime lead.
At the start of the third quarter, Magee fought its way rightback into the game, driving 60 yards and scoring on a 22-yard runby quarterback Brian Hayes. The LCHS lead quickly shrank to27-20.
Undaunted, the Cougars got in right back. After a 37-yardkickoff return by Charles Barnes, Eley capped a 53-yard drive witha one-yard touchdown plunge. His kick got the lead back up to twotouchdowns at 34-20.
Magee simply wouldn’t go away. Early in the fourth quarter,Moore scored on a three-yard run and a two-point pass cut the leadto 34-26.
Moments later, Hardy seemingly put the game away with a 65-yardtouchdown run. Unbelievably, the Trojans came right back again withHayes hooking up with Kendrick McLaurin for 51 yards and atouchdown.
With 10 minutes left in the game, the Cougars held a precarious42-34 lead. Once again, the Cougars responded and this time, theTrojans were done. First, Hardy ripped off 47 yards. Next, Barneswent for 21. Two plays later, he scored on a seven-yard run to makeit 49-34. Hardy iced the game with six minutes remaining when hewent the final 44 yards of his memorable night.
Hardy’s big night overshadowed a great performance put in byMagee’s Moore. He rushed 20 times for 152 yards and scored threetouchdowns. He also ran for a two-point conversion.
While the Trojans’ offense was impressive, Lawrence County’s wassimply overwhelming on this night. The Cougar ground game ate upchunks of yardage so easily that LCHS never attempted a pass.
Things will get tougher for the Cougars this week as they takeon a reigning state champion for the second straight week. Thistime, it’s defending Mississippi 4A champ and Division 6-4A rivalMcComb, a team that Hammond is very familiar with. He was assistantcoach on that 2000 championship team.
“McComb is still the favorite in our division,” Hammond said.”Defensively, they are outstanding. I thought we (McComb) had thebest defense in Mississippi last year and they’re playing at thatsame level this season. It’ll be a tremendous challenge for ourteam. We’ll have to play very well to compete with them.”
21 – 55
LCHS – Hardy 1 run (Ely Kick)
Magee – Moore 70 run (run failed)
LC – Hardy 31 run (Eley kick)
Magee – Moore 2 run (Moore run)
LC – Eley 4 run (Eley kick)
LC – Brown blocked punt recovery in end zone (kickfailed)
Magee – Haynes 22 run (run failed)
LC- Eley 1 run (Eley kick)
Magee – Moore 3 run (Barron from Hayes)
LC – Hardy 65 run (Eley run)
Magee – McLaurin 51 pass from Hayes (runfailed)
LC – Barnes 7 run (Eley kick)
LC – Hardy 44 run (kick failed)
RUSHING: LCHS Hardy 12-235, Barnes 14-121, Eley 14-82,Snell 7-39.