SJ Lafayette outlasts Excelsior Springs in 2 OTs
By Brandon Zenner The St. Joseph News-Press
As a pitch-black sky darkened and the scoreboard clicks into double overtime, each play between the Lafayette Fighting Irish and Excelsior Springs Tigers became more important in a 63-62 Irish win.
Even with jaw-dropping action pushing both teams past the 50-point mark, little attention was paid to the on-field product by much of the Irish bench with its defense backed against the goal line.
Most of the late stages of the Class 4 District 8 opener Friday at Scott Marriott Field at Alumni Stadium was spent gazing at star junior quarterback Diego Bernard as trainers tended to an injury he suffered in the final minutes of regular time.
But with a 63-62 lead and an eager Tigers coaching staff looking for an immediate end, the Irish came up with a stop on a would-be game-ending two-point conversion to move on and put Bernard’s career night to good use.
The shifty lefty signal-caller racked up 226 yards despite missing the final 2 minutes, 2 seconds of regular time and both overtimes with a back injury.
“I’ll be good for next week,” he said with a grin.
He would not be outdone by junior Trey Washington, who entered Friday after a banged up season with just one touchdown. He rushed for four Friday, including two 25-yard scores in overtime.
“What worked for me? We’ve gotta make second round for my seniors,” Washington said. “Then when my brother (Bernard) got hurt, it was all for him. It was all for my brother.”
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