St. Joe Lafayette edges Savannah for first win

By Chris Schoonover The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: September 11, 2015 - 10:08 PM

Riley McKay had thrown two picks and faced a long field trailing by six with just over three minutes to go.

But McKay, like his team had all night, made two big plays, including a game-winning run, to beat Savannah 27-26 at Alumni Field.

His 14-yard run — and the ensuing extra point — gave the Fighting Irish (1-3, 1-2 Midland Empire Conference) its first win of the season.

On third-and-11, McKay was flushed out of the pocket but had enough time to find Ja’Den King wide open on the right side of the field for a 35-yard pickup.

After a 1-yard run play, McKay rolled to the left and sprinted into the end zone for the game-winner with 1 minute, 26 seconds left on the clock.

Savannah’s four following passes fell incomplete, giving the Irish their first win of the year.

“It could have went either way,” Lafayette coach Bart Hardy said. “Both teams are great teams. The kids did a phenomenal job tonight.

“We told (McKay) to take what they give you and he rolled out a couple of times and they gave him a couple of openings. I’m proud of him for just kind of learning how to do that.”

Savannah’s defensive line was dominant early, getting in the backfield at will to shut down the Lafayette rushing attack up the middle, forcing three punts in the first quarter.

With Savannah (1-3, 0-2 MEC) clogging up the middle, Hardy had to get the ball to the outside and find different ways to get the ball to his playmakers.

“We knew we had to go outside a little bit but it’s one of those things where you have to keep trying the middle to keep them honest,” Hardy said.

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