Lafayette County outlasts Holden in overtime
By Stephen Bubalo PrepsKC staff writer
All game long Lafayette County quarterback Adam Reid was getting hit by Holden defenders, had them flying right at him or was running away from them.
But on the final play of the game – a 9-yard touchdown run by Reid in overtime that gave the Huskers a thrilling 28-21 victory – he nearly went untouched.
Better late than never.
“That was the only play I wasn’t touched,” Reid said with a smile. “It’s funny how that happens.”
“He’s a tough kid. He’s managed the game so well and he’s cool under pressure,” added Huskers head coach Steve Cook talking about his quarterback.
The entire Huskers team had to be cool under pressure on this night, as they got all they could handle in a battle of top 10 teams – Lafayette County at No. 1, Holden at No. 7 – in Class 2.
In a penalty-riddled overtime – there were seven in all – the Huskers showed their maturity, which started with a stop on fourth-and-six when Lauden Wheeler batted down a Jeff Miller pass attempt.
But what made the turnover on downs sting even more for the Eagles was the fact that they had third-and-one and fourth-and-one during the drive but on each occasion had a false start penalty back them up five yards.
“We had fourth and short a couple of times (during the game) but had penalties,” Holden head coach Mike Hedrick said. “We put too much pressure on ourselves.”
When Lafayette County took over on downs, it looked as if they may have won on its third play when Reid found L.J. Williams on a 23-yard catch in the end zone but he was ruled out of bounds.
No worries, though, as Williams would make his mark on the game two plays later. After a Jonathan Sullins sack and a delay of game penalty made it fourth-and-17 for the Huskers, the game appeared destined for a second overtime.
But Reid found Williams on a wide receiver screen and he made a number of moves to earn an 18-yard gain and help set up Reid’s game-winning touchdown.
Earlier in the fourth quarter Williams had taken another screen pass 27 yards for a score to tie the game at 21.
“I told coach to pass me the ball because I could see I was open,” Williams said.
Added Cook with a smile, “He reminded me a couple of times that he hadn’t touched the ball in a while – in a polite way. He’s electric when he gets it.
“We put up a reminder about our guys that made big plays tonight that they did it last year. They’ve been in these big positions and it positions you for playoff football.”
The Huskers had been looking for some sort of spark throughout the second half after the Eagles took their second possession of the half 68 yards for a score, as Max Mickey ran it in from 8 yards out for the 21-14 lead.
Leading up to the eventual game-tying drive, the Eagles held the potent Husker offense to just one first down in the second half, as they also managed an interception and recovered an onside kick to keep the Huskers off the field.
But the Eagles could never capitalize on their repeated stops, as the Husker defense countered with stops of their own.
“We didn’t do enough to get our defense out of trouble,” Hedrick said. “We have to get into better situations on the offensive side of the ball and that’s my fault. They made adjustments (on defense) and we made too many mistakes.”
Before Williams’ touchdown catch, Reid made what was the play of the game to that point, eluding several tacklers to pick up 42 yards.
“Two plays before that we were talking about how he needed to make a play for his confidence,” Cook said of Reid.
“The wide receivers were blocking 20-to-30 yards down the field. I was amazed by it,” Reid said of the run. “Other than that I was just running for my life.”
The two teams traded scores in the first half to make it a 14-all game at halftime. While the Eagles had an 18-play scoring drive in the second quarter, the Huskers ran only six plays in the entire quarter, but two were for scores.
Holden dropped to 4-2 with the loss but made a statement in defeat.
“I went to school here and this was a big game. No. 1 vs. No. 7 doesn’t come around very often,” Hedrick said. “I’m very proud of these guys.”
Lafayette County stayed perfect at 6-0 in its quest to get back to the state championship game. They will host Knob Noster next Friday.
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