St. Joe rides May to win over West Lincoln Bears
In a game between two evenly matched 2A teams it was the Madison-St. Joseph Bruins (2-1) who took a 20-16 win over the West Lincoln Bears (1-2) Friday night on Perry Miller Field.
The Bruins were powered by three rushing touchdowns from tough senior running back Kevin May.
Last week in a 27-6 win over St. Andrew’s, May rushed 14 times for 176 yards and two scores.
With 14 seconds left in the first quarter May got his first score of the night from 15 yards out to put St. Joe up 6-0.
The point-after kick was blocked by West Lincoln junior Ashtin Auttonberry.
West Lincoln started the game strong defensively in the first quarter as they forced three-and-outs on the first two Bruin drives.
However, the WL offense turned the ball over twice via fumbles in the opening quarter.
The first possession of the second quarter ended in a punt for the Bears as senior punter Justin Pratt’s kick was downed on the St. Joe 4-yard line.
The ensuing Bruin possession ate up nearly the entire second quarter as St. Joe deliberately drove the ball down to the West Lincoln 9-yard line.
Coached by legendary Mississippi State running quarterback John Bond, St. Joe used rushes to the outside by May, Clifford Goodloe and Chris Watson to move the ball while keeping the clock running.
On a fourth and goal with 60 seconds remaining in the half, Pratt picked off a pass to give the Bears the ball back and kill the long drive.
St. Joe led 6-0 at halftime.
A long, weaving run by West Lincoln senior flanker Stephen “Stone Cold” Austin gave the Bear offense a spark on their first possession of the second half.
On the very next play West Lincoln got their first score of the game when junior running back Enrico Price cruised in from 31-yards out.
Price leapt a St. Joe defender on the PAT attempt and West Lincoln took an 8-6 lead.
St. Joe responded though with another long, ground-based drive to take a 14-8 lead at 5:19 of the third quarter on an 11-yard run by May.
West Lincoln coach Brad Bland and his staff were shorthanded when the game began as senior starters Cooper Moak and Dylan Dickerson were on the sideline in street clothes due to injuries.
A 10-yard rushing score by May put St. Joe up 20-8 on the first play of the fourth quarter as it looked like the Bruins might coast to a win.
West Lincoln responded though as Price scored from five yards out and Autonberry ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 20-16 with 9:58 remaining in the game.
Jordan Davis started at quarterback for West Lincoln and in the second half senior Chris Freeman moved to the position before going out with an injury.
Autonberry took over after that and gave the Bear offense a spark with his running abilities.
St. Joe tried to ice the game by keeping the clock moving but West Lincoln made a goal line stand that gave them the ball back when junior defensive tackle Jackson Taylor stuffed May on fourth down.
The Bears needed to go 88 yards in 3:53 for a go-ahead score. A long run by Autonberry got West Lincoln on the St. Joe side of the 50-yard line — but the quarterback had to leave the field after the play with an injury.
The next play saw St. Joe get a game sealing interception by May as the Bruins were able to then take consecutive knees to secure the win.
West Lincoln is back at home next week hosting St. Andrew’s.