Lawrence Co. slips past Port Gibson

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, October 31, 2010

PORT GIBSON – Sophomore quarterback Nicholas McDonald threw afourth-down, 11-yard touchdown pass to William Turnage with 10:25left in the game to propel Lawrence County to a 7-6 win agaionstPort Gibson Friday night. Trevor Havis’ extra point kick providedthe winning margin. Then the LCHS defense held off two late PortGibson threats, to seal the win.

With the win, Lawrence County finished the regular season with anoverall record of 6-5, and 4-1 in Region 7-4A play. Coupled withNorth Pike’s win over South Pike, the Cougars’ victory wrapped upsecond place in the division for Lawrence County. That means thatLCHS will get to host a first-round 4A playoff game this Friday.The Cougars will entertain defending state champion St. Stanislaus.Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Port Gibson, under coach Lynn Lang, also finished 6-5 overall, andfinished 3-2 in the league. The Blue Wave Fighting Sharks finishedfourth in the division, also earning a playoff spot.

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“This was a great win for our team,” said seventh-year Cougar coachMike Davis. “It wasn’t a thing of beauty. It was like pulling awisdom tooth, but our guys got it done. We’re awfully excited tohave earned a home playoff game.

“Port Gibson is back,” Davis continued. “We knew coming up herethat we were in for a dogfight. That defense of theirs has multipleplayers that are being recruited by Division 1 schools. This is notthe Port Gibson that people have been kicking around for the lastdecade or so.”

To say that it wasn’t pretty was a bit of an understatement. Davis’Cougars picked up just 8 first downs in the game, 7 of them in justone drive. That drive was a 96-yard, 18-play, odyssey that resultedin the winning touchdown.

Lawrence County’s only other first down came on a first quarterfake punt. The fake netted 30 yards, but resulted in a lostfumble.

The Cougars netted just 179 yards on the night, a majority of themcoming on that one drive. Glenn Russell, Jr. led Lawrence Countywith 66 yards on 13 carries.

Port Gibson took a 6-0 lead late in the first half on a 7-yardtouchdown run by Johnny Hulburt. The Fighting Sharks missed theextra point.

Early in the second half, Port Gibson threatened to go up by twotouchdowns but Lawrence County’s McDonald intercepted an AdariusBarnes fourth down pass near the Cougar goal line. That play set upLawrence County’s game-winning drive.

“Our defense came up big tonight,” Coach Davis said. “As much of astruggle as it was offensively tonight, we’d have been in troubleif they had gone up by two touchdowns. That was a big play, and abig defensive stand.”

The LCHS defense limited Port Gibson to just 158 yards and 7 firstdowns. Hulburt (10-49), Dominic Savage (6-52), and Tommy McCaplin(10-42) had positive rushing nights for the Sharks.

Port Gibson threatened twice late in the game, driving to the LCHS22-yard line, and to the 34-yard line. The Sharks’ final play was atrick “double pass” that fell incomplete in the Cougar end zonewith 36 seconds left in the game. Lawrence County’s Jermond Dillonintercepted a fake punt attempt on another late Port Gibsonpossession.

“We’re thrilled to get that home playoff game,” Davis said. “Weknow we’re up against a tough division, but we’re elated to havethe opportunity.”