Tylertown Chiefs rally late to beat Lawrence Co.

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, September 5, 2010

TYLERTOWN – The Tylertown Chiefs drove 96 yards in 14 plays inthe final 5 minutes of the game to earn a 20-12 victory overLawrence County in high school football action Friday night. PeytonDenton scored the winning touchdown on an 8-yard run, with 28seconds left as the reigning state 3A champions earned their firstwin of the season.

Tylertown jumped to a 12-0 first quarter lead, only to see LawrenceCounty battle back to tie the game with touchdowns in the third andfourth periods. LCHS had the ball deep in Chief territory, with achance to take the lead midway through the fourth quarter, butTylertown’s Maquillie Bridges intercepted a LaQuan Hilliard pass,setting up the Chiefs’ winning touchdown drive.

With the win, Coach Walter Denton’s Chiefs improved to a deceiving1-2. The 3A Chiefs’ losses were to 5A McComb and 6A Ocean Springs.Lawrence County, itself in the midst of a challenging non-divisionschedule, fell to 1-2.

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“Our kids fought as hard as they ever have,” LCHS head coach MikeDavis said, “and I couldn’t be prouder of the effort. That said,we’re struggling a bit right now. We’re awfully banged up, andthere aren’t many teams on our schedule to get well against.”

Davis’ Cougars have lost long-time starting quarterback Adam Watsonfor the season, with a knee injury. Trevor Havis, one of LawrenceCounty’s most versatile players and a three-year starter, is alsosporting a cast on his kicking leg.

“It’s tough, but injuries are a part of the game,” Davis said.”That’s no excuse. The players we put on the field played hard. Ourbiggest problem tonight was Tylertown. Don’t be misled by theirrecord. They’re a 3A contender again.”

Tylertown struck quickly, scoring on a 32-yard Tyre’ouneHolmes-to-LaDarrius Slocum with 5:20 remaining in the firstquarter. After a quick three-and-out punt by Lawrence County, thelightning-quick Holmes went 38 yards for a score. LCHS quicklyfound itself down 12-0. It stayed that way through halftime.

Lawrence County took the second half kickoff, and quickly drove fora touchdown, taking advantage of two 15-yard penalties againstTylertown. McDonald ran 18 yards for a touchdown, but theextra-point attempt was blocked, making it a 12-6 game.

Early in the fourth quarter, a fumble recovery set the Cougars upat their own 48. Largely on the strength of sophomore runner GlennRussell, LCHS knotted the game at 12-12. Russell scored on a10-yard run with 7:06 left in the game. However, with long-timekicker Havis out with injury, Lawrence County again failed toconvert the extra point.

Another Tylertown fumble gave the Cougars a shot at another score,but Bridges’ second interception set up the Chiefs’ winning drive.Denton rushed 9 times for 50 yards on the march.

Tylertown outgained Lawrence County 271-164 in total offense.Holmes (14-68), Denton (10-54), and Chris Jones (13-49) all hadproductive rushing nights. Holmes completed 4-of-5 passes for 59yards.

For Lawrence County, McDonald (13-41), Alexander Montgomery(14-67), and Russell (6-41) had positive rushing nights. TheCougars struggled in the passing game, however, completing zeropasses, and having three intercepted.