LAWRENCEBURG -- Lawrence County’s backup quarterback only attempted one pass, and it resulted in a touchdown.
Sophomore Andrew Daniel threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Bentley to give the host Wildcats a four-point lead in the fourth quarter, and their defense held on Summertown's final drive for a 16-12 season-opening victory Friday night.
Summertown had more yards (240 to 179) and first downs (18 to 11) in the game, but the gutsy Wildcats found a way to win for the third time in as many meetings in the rivalry -- tabbed the Battle of the Buffalo, for the river that flows between the two schools.
Daniel came in during a critical game-winning drive in the second half for starter Alex Carr, when the senior was cramping. Daniel handed off for three straight times plays before throwing for the eventual game-winner.
“He’s a sophomore, and he did a good job when he came in and ran the offense,” said coach David Marston.
The Eagles scored in the third quarter to take a 12-7 lead. The Wildcats scored on a safety later in the quarter to cut the gap to 12-9.
Summertown appeared to have the Wildcats stopped on their next possession, but when the Wildcats punted on fourth down, Summertown had 12 men on the field and the penalty gave LCHS a first down at midfield.
Carr completed a 26-yard pass to Rettick Wells to get the ball to the 24.
Then Daniel came in. On fourth down and 5 from the 19-yard line, the Wildcats went for it and Daniel delivered a short pass to Bentley. He caught it near the 15 and took it the rest of the way into the end zone.
“He made a big touchdown pass, on fourth down,” said Marston.
The Wildcats’ punting game flipped the field on Summertown twice, forcing the visitors to have to make long drives. Lawrence County sophomore Caden Byrd had punts of 44 and 41 yards at critical times in the game.
“The kicking game came up big for us,” said Marston. “Caden had big punts for us, and our coverage on kickoffs was excellent. We made them have to go farther (on their drives). That’s part of winning football games.”
The Eagles put together a 90-yard drive in the second quarter to score the first touchdown, after Byrd’s 44-yard punt put them on their own 10. Colton Shaffer connected with Michael Abbott for a 12-yard pass for the score, but the Eagles missed the extra point and led 6-0.
Lawrence County scored on its next possession on a 4-yard run by sophomore Latavion Everly, and Byrd kicked the extra point to make it 7-6.
The Eagles scored on their first possession of the second half, a quarterback sneak by Shaffer from inside the 1-yard line.
The main force in the scoring drive for Summertown was senior Javen Edmiston. He had 36 of the 65 yards in the drive on four carries, after not playing any in the first half.
“Javen has been injured, and I didn’t want to ride him too hard,” said first-year Summertown coach Dakota Crews. “We have a slew of running backs.”
Errors cost the Eagles. They had the penalty for too many players on the field, and they had the safety when a snap to the punter went over his head, and he kicked the ball into the end zone to avoid a turnover.
“We’ve got to clean some things up, little things,” said Crews. “We did a lot of things right, but the things we didn’t do right cost us. We’ve got to do better. That’s on us as coaches, I’ll take that.”
Lawrence County travels to Loretto for a Week 2 matchup, while Summertown goes to Wayne County.
Lawrence Co. 16, Summertown 12
S 0 6 6 0 -- 12
L 0 7 2 7 -- 16
S – Michael Abbott 12 pass from Colton Shaffer (10:55), kick failed
L – Latavion Everly 4 run (1:36), Caden Byrd kick
S – Shaffer 1 run (6:57), run failed
L – Safety, Summertown punter kicked ball out of his own end zone (2:47)
L – Isaiah Bentley 19 pass from Andrew Daniel (8:31), Byrd kick
First downs 18 11
Rushes-yards 35-196 36-109
Passing yards 44 70
Comps-Atts-Ints 6-12-0 5-7-0
Penalties-yards 2-20 5-40
Fumbles-lost 2-0 0-0
Summertown – Colton Shaffer 12-80, Aniken Johnson 14-48, Javen Edmiston 4-36, Lane Green 5-35
Lawrence Co. – Alex Carr 15-34, Kenny Tharpe 7-32, Latavion Everly 4-19, Isaiah Bentley 5-11, Kaiden Metney 2-7, Samuel Bradley 2-5, Peyton Brazier 1-1
Summertown – Colton Shaffer 6-12-0, 44
Lawrence Co. – Alex Carr 4-6-0, 51, Andrew Daniel 1-1-0, 19
Summertown – Gavin Robinson 2-22, Michael Abbott 2-15, Ty Bryant 1-7, Lane Green 1-0
Lawrence Co. – Rettick Wells 2-44, Isaiah Bentley 2-20, Jakabri Stevenson 1-6