A series of late-game mishaps stopped the North Laurel Jaguars from picking up their first win of the season on Friday night when they traveled to Stanford to take on the Lincoln County Patriots.
Lincoln County rolled to the 50-26 win, in what was a tight game midway through the fourth quarter. The Jaguars had just scored to tie the game at 26-26, and missed the extra point to take the lead. Lincoln County proceeded to score on the ensuing drive, then recovered two onside kicks that led to scores. Throw in a pick-six, and the Patriots were able to take a significant lead to win the game.
North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey said he was happy with the way his team played, despite the mistakes at the end of the game.
“We scored and missed the extra point to take the lead, and then we just couldn’t make the plays when we needed to. You can’t make those mistakes and win a ball game in the fourth quarter,” said Larkey. “I thought our guys played great. We missed a lot of tackles. We didn’t play well on special teams - just stuff you can’t do and win.”
The Jaguars really controlled the game for much of the first half. They scored first to take a 6-0 lead with 7:12 remaining in the first quarter. After Lincoln County scored on the next drive, North Laurel answered with a touchdown of their own and went up 14-8 with less than a minute left in the first quarter.
Both teams played tough in the second quarter, with the Patriots scoring the only touchdown of the period. At the half, the score was tied at 14-14.
The Jaguars were able to get the ground game going early in the game. They rushed for 94 yards on just 14 attempts in the first two quarters. In the second half, Lincoln County limited the North Laurel running game to just 27 yards. The Jaguars finished with 111 passing yards.
The teams were back-and-forth for most of the third and fourth quarters. North Laurel tied the game at 26-26 with just over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, and that is when Lincoln County turned it on, as they raced to the 50-26 win.
Tucker Warren was a standout for the Jaguars on Friday and was voted as Player of the Game.
Larkey said his team had a difficult time containing Lincoln County quarterback Clayton Davis. Davis was a wide receiver for the Patriots last season and made the move to quarterback this year. Larkey described him as the best player on the field. He was also voted as Player of the Game.
“We missed a lot of tackles, but Lincoln County had an awesome football player in (Davis). He was the best player on the football fields, really,” said Larkey. “He was pretty much the difference-maker on the night. We won’t see another player like him for several weeks this year.”
With the loss, the Jaguars start the season at 0-1. They return to the field next Friday when they take on the Perry County Central Commodores in their first home game of the season.