Junior varsity rivals end game with tie

Published 10:28 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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It is usually unseen and frowned upon in American football, but in Tuesday’s junior varsity game between LaFayette and Lanett the crowd went home after watching a game end in a tie. 

LaFayette and Lanett laced ‘em up for a smaller version of their rivalry. After four quarters and an overtime, the game ended in a 14-14 tie. 

“It was bittersweet man,” Lanett JV head coach Qua Boyd said after the game. “We talk to our guys every week about fighting through adversity. I feel like we were put in some adverse situations. It’s just something we’ve got to go back home, watch film and correct the mistakes.” 

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The game was a back and forth battle from start to finish. Neither team put any points on the board through the first two quarters of the game. 

It was not until late in the third quarter when LaFayette ended the scoring drought. Kemare Harrington capped off the Bulldogs’ 45-yard drive with a 25-yard rushing touchdown. LaFayette failed to convert the 2-point conversion, but they took a 6-0 lead with 2:38 left in the third quarter. 

Lanett found the endzone for the first time with 2:47 left in the game. Adarious Walker finished off the 79-yard drive with a 7-yard rushing touchdown. 

Neither team could score at the end of regulation, and the game went into overtime. The overtime rules were different from any other level of football. 

Each team had four plays to score from the 10. Neither team needed more than one play to find the endzone. 

Delmarius Washington rushed for the 10-yard touchdown, and then he converted the 2-point conversion to give LaFayette the 14-6 lead. 

The Panthers struck back on the very next play as Walker rushed for a 10-yard touchdown of his own. Lanett converted the 2-point conversion, and the game ended in a tie. 

At the junior varsity level, the wins and losses are not the most important aspect of the game. A lot of the kids are still learning the game, and they are growing into their positions. 

“I’ve seen tremendous progress,” Boyd said. “This is what we call the future here. You’ve got to coach them everyday. At Lanett, all we preach about is next man up. Some of my eighth and ninth graders [are] on varsity.” 

The matchup between LaFayette and Lanett is one of the more intense rivalries in Chambers County, and that’s no different for the junior varsity players. There was at least one ejection from the game, and there were multiple intense moments throughout the game. 

“The rivalry is cool because I’m from LaFayette,” Boyd said. “I graduated from LaFayette. It’s always good to come back home, play in front of my family and friends. I try to instill that passion into my guys. They’re babies, so they don’t really know [about] the rivalry between Lanett and LaFayette.” 

LaFayette was led in the game by Harrington and Washington. Washington took over at quarterback for Harrington after Harrington came out of the game late in the fourth quarter. 

Walker helped to lead the Panthers. Walker scored both of Lanett’s touchdowns on the night. 

Kentavious Cobb had an interception for LaFayette and Amari Strickland had a fumble recovery.