Sep. 2—Head Coach Mac Hampton and the East Lawrence Eagles walked away with the 20-16 win on Friday over the Winston County Yellowjackets.
It was their first win in almost two years.
"It feels so great, I swear, it feels so great. To finally know we got a win for the school, for the student body. It just feels so great." senior Jaylan Smith said.
After a scoreless first quarter, Winston County's Landon Kelly capped a 45-yard drive with a QB sneak into the end zone. That was followed by a successful 2-point conversion to make it 8-0.
"We had a lot of hard work and preparation coming into this week, and Coach Mac (Hampton) and the staff had a good game plan. We executed and got it done," Smith said.
East Lawrence responded immediately. Freshman Cayne McClure tore through three Yellowjackets for a 40-yard run. A successful 2-point conversion evened the score at 8-8.
"I came in there, I didn't expect to do as good as I thought I would, but I just went out there and did the best I could." McClure said.
An East Lawrence turnover gave Winston County prime scoring position in the Eagles' own red zone. Kelly rushed into the end zone, to cap a 24-yard drive and rushed in again just a play later for the 2-point conversion with 8 seconds left on the clock.
The Eagles went into the locker room at halftime trailing 16-8.
"It's always better to win than to lose. It wasn't pretty but I challenged the guys at half time, I said, 'Hey man, let's not revert back to our old ways. Go out there and prove to yourselves what kind of ball team we are,'" Hampton said.
On their first play of the second half, the Eagle's Landon Pitt intercepted the ball and made it to the Yellowjackets' 17-yard line. Jaylan Smith rushed it in for a 7-yard touchdown, but the Eagles fell short on the 2-point conversion.
Winston County then fumbled the ball after a run, and the Eagles scooped it up for a score, taking the lead 20-16, after another failed 2-point attempt.
"That scoop and score. That was the first drill that I taught the guys how to do," Hampton said. "The turnover circuit, scoop and score and I told them 'Guys you're not going to realize how important this is until you do it and we need it' so it played into our favor."
With 45 seconds left on the clock, Kelly launched the ball into the air where it was picked off by Smith for his second interception of the game, this one for the final score.
"I saw it coming, I knew they were going to pass it, so I knew I was going to go," Smith said. "I knew where it was going to be at, I just had to be there at the right time."