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LCHS clips North Pike

MONTICELLO – Trevor Havis scored on a 24-yard run with 55seconds left on the clock to propel the Lawrence County Cougars toa dramatic 36-33 win over the North Pike Jaguars in Region 7-4Ahigh school football action Friday night. Havis’ run capped atopsy-turvy fourth quarter that saw three lead changes in the final4 minutes of the game.

With the win, Lawrence County improved to 3-4 overall, and 1-0in region play. North Pike, coached by Chris Smith, fell to 3-4 and0-1.

North Pike’s Limerick Turner put the Jaguars ahead with a34-yard touchdown run and 1:20 left in the game, but a botchedkickoff set Lawrence County up at the Jaguar 46-yard line. TheCougars’ Josh Cameron immediately ripped off a 22-yard run. ThenHavis bounced off multiple North Pike tacklers en route to hisgame-winning score.

“It was sort of like our season has been,” said sixth-yearLawrence County coach Mike Davis. “We haven’t been great enough toblow people out, but we’ve been good enough to stay in the game. Asa result, five of our seven games have gone right down to thewire.”

It was a particularly big night for Havis. Though he totaled amodest 50 years on 10 carries, Havis scored 2 touchdowns, kicked 2extra points and 2 field goals, and scored on a 2-point conversion.He even played most of the game on defense.

“Trevor can help a team in a lot of ways,” Davis said. “and he’shad to carry more of a load than we thought because of some keyinjuries we’ve had.”

Havis kicked his second field goal of the night with 3:44 leftin the game, and handed the Cougars a brief 29-26 lead. Turner’slate touchdown then put North Pike on top, setting up LawrenceCounty’s dramatic finish.

The game was the first Region 7-4A contest for either team andmarked the first time the long-time sports rivals have played oneanother in a contest with division championship and playoffimplications. The two schools ended up in the same region as aresult of the MHSAA’s decision to go to six classifications thisyear, instead of the traditional five.

Lawrence County’s late rally spoiled a great fourth-quartereffort from North Pike’s Turner. Early in the final period, Turnertotaled just 17 yards on 7 carries. On his final 2 carries off thenight, however, Turner ripped off touchdown runs of 27 and 34yards.

North Pike struck first, as standout quarterback Revis Butlerpassed the Jaguars down the field. A 35- yard strike to TonnieCollins set up a 7-yard toss to Demetric Jackson. The extra pointattempt failed.

Lawrence County came right back with Josh Cameron’s 37-yard runsetting up Havis’ first score of the night, a 4-yarder. Havis’ kickmade it a 7-3 game. Moments later, after a North Pike punt,Lawrence County’s Alexander Montgomery broke loose on a 68-yardtouchdown run. Havis’ 2-point run gave LCHS a 15-6 score.

Early in the second quarter, after a Byron Hammond fumblerecovery, Havis connected on a 33-yard field goal attempt, uppingLawrence County’s lead to 18-6.

North Pike cut into that lead before the halftime intermissionwhen Butler hit Collins for 19 yards and a touchdown. TylerWilkinson’s extra point make it 18-13 at halftime. It was aproductive night for Butler who rushed for 46 yards and a touchdownand passed for 152 yards and 2 scores.

After Lawrence County fumbled the ball away on the second playof the third quarter, North Pike took advantage. A passinterference penalty set up Butler’s 19-yard touchdown run, givingthe Jags a 20-18 lead.

Late in the third quarter, Lawrence County put together a12-play, 54-yard drive that resulted in Adam Watson’s controversial1-yard, fourth-down quarterback sneak, on the final play of theperiod. The play resulted in a massive pile up in the center of thefield and for more than 20 seconds, there was no indication as towhether or not Watson scored. Finally, officials raised their handsto indicate touchdown much to the displeasure of the North Pikesideline and grandstand. Josh Cameron ran for 2 points, giving LCHSa 26-20 lead.

It was another solid night for Cameron who played onlysporadically the first half of the season due to injury. WithCougar standout Matthew Wells sidelined for the third straight weekwith a groin injury, Cameron rushed for 176 yards on 21carries.

North Pike tied the game on the first of Turner’s two touchdownswith 7:03 left in the game. That’s when the action really started,with the fourth quarter proving to be the one of the most excitingin recent memory.

“North Pike has a fine team,” Davis said. “and their kids playeda great game. It could have gone either way in that wild fourthquarter. I’m glad it went ours.”