Survival of the fittest
Big play late pushes LCA past Piedmont, 13-6
LOGANVILLE — After 48 minutes of football, Loganville Christian Academy head coach Andre King knows two things about his victorious Lions: they are very young and they are very “scrappy.”
Fresh off a 13-6 season opening win over Piedmont Academy (Monticello), King said, “I am pleased and surprised about how they guys responded to being down 6-0 at the half. I told them we were only one score out of it and they responded with a lot of heart.”
Piedmont won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. After a series of back-and-forth three and outs played mostly at midfield, the game was scoreless at the end of one.
The second quarter opened with a 10-play, 80-yard drive Piedmont capped by a 20-yard touchdown pass at 6:14 to tight end JT Webb. A missed point after gave the Cougars a 6-0 lead going into the half. Moments before their score, Piedmont converted a crucial third down on the LCA 20 to set up the lone score of the half. The Cougars gambled on third down conversions all night and were very successful, frequently allowing them to maintain possession.
Piedmont couldn’t do anything with their first possession in the second half. LCA mounted a good drive late in the second quarter but ran out of time before they could get off a field goal attempt from 35 yards out.
On their eighth possession of the night, LCA got great field position courtesy of a Drake Cook stop for a loss and a short Piedmont punt. LCA quarterback Jacob McFadden connected with Alex Noblett for a rare Lions first down.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Spencer Dispain scored from 2 yards out and a missed point-after attempt knotted the score at 6-6.
More play between the 30s characterized much of the fourth quarter and it looked like overtime might be in play until a Brian Borrero interception gave LCA the ball close to mid-field with just 2:26 left in regulation play.
A McFadden to Dana Lucas Jr. connection cinched the LCA win with just over a minute left and with a accurate point after by Payne Schultz, the Lions posted the win at 13-6, avenging a 26-12 loss to Piedmont in the 2016 season.
Piedmont came roaring down the field in a last-ditch effort to tie the score but a failed Hail Mary from the LCA 37 fell short on the last play of the game.
LCA signal caller McFadden went 11 for 22 and 170 yards with one touchdown. Lucas was on the receiving end of five of those passes for 82 yards. Dispain was the LCA workhorse with 11 carries for 46 yards and one score.
LCA goes on the road next week with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at region opponent Dominion Christian of Kennesaw.