Football team's season ends with hard fought loss

  • Tavion Lawrence (#6) weaves through the Vikings’ special team on his way to a 66-yard kickoff return. Lawrence’s sensational kickoff return set the Indians up for a nine-yard touchdown.
    Tavion Lawrence (#6) weaves through the Vikings’ special team on his way to a 66-yard kickoff return. Lawrence’s sensational kickoff return set the Indians up for a nine-yard touchdown.

The LCHS varsity football team’s 2019 season came to an end when the Indians fell to the East Hall Vikings 40-31 in a hard fought battle on the road at Valhalla this past Friday night, Nov. 8.
“Effort and competitiveness are the foundational things that we have tried to build this season,” said first-year LCHS head football coach Caleb Sorrells. “That is the foundation that has begun to be laid. It’s not there yet, but it’s been poured and we have something to build on next season.”
Despite the final score, the Indians showed a ton of both those fundamental traits throughout their final game of the 2019 season versus East Hall.
The Vikings began the game with a touchdown on the opening drive of the first half. Starting from their own 34-yard-line, East Hall marched down the field behind a few screen passes before East Hall wide receiver Bryce Reeves was able to find a hole and scamper his way into the end zone in the wildcat formation from 46 yards out.
The Vikings opted to go for the two-point conversion, but were stopped short by the Lumpkin defense.
Trailing 6-0, the Indians’ offense couldn’t get anything started on its firs drive of the game. LCHS running back BoJack Dowdy picked up six yards on the first play of the drive, but the Indians were forced to punt after an incomplete pass and a run for no gain by LCHS running back Drew Allison.
Penalties and solid play by the Indians’ defense stalled out the Vikings’ next drive.
The score remained the same until the Indians struck for a touchdown in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Starting from their own 39-yard-line, the Indians received a strong run eight-yard from Tavion Lawrence that moved the ball near midfield. Dowdy then ran for five-yards to get into Vikings’ territory. After a false start penalty moved the Indians back five-yards, Allison picked up two yards to get Lumpkin back to midfield. On the next play, LCHS quarterback Tucker Kirk threw an absolutely beautiful pass to Trey Wilkes for a 51-yard touchdown. Wilkes’ score evened the score at 6-6.
Dowdy bulldozed his way past the goal line on the ensuing two-point try to give the Indians an 8-6 advantage with 10:33 left in the first half.
The Vikings retook the lead about midway through the second quarter when East Hall quarterback Clete Cooper hooked up with Reeves on a 19-yard touchdown pass. Cooper then threw a dart to receiver Drew Highfield to give the Vikings a 14-8 advantage with 6:32 left in the half.
East Hall extended its lead to 20-8 in the closing minutes of the first half when Cooper connected with wide receiver DJ Gray for a 66-yard touchdown pass.
The Indians didn’t let the late touchdown get them down and answered right back on their next drive.
Lumpkin got stellar field position after Lawrence was able to speed his way to the nine-yard-line on the kickoff. Lawrence’s 66-yard kickoff return set the Indians up deep in Vikings’ territory. Lumpkin quickly turned the sensational run into points when Kirk slipped his way into the end zone on a nine-yard quarterback keeper. Indians’ kicker Will Ramirez booted the extra point through the uprights and Lumpkin cut the East Hall lead to 20-15 with 1:40 left in the half.
Unfortunately for Lumpkin, the Indians’ scoring drive left too much time on the clock and the Vikings were able to strike once more before halftime to go into the break leading 26-15.
In the second half, the Vikings scored first and upped their lead to 32-15 when Cooper found Gray on a 30-yard touchdown pass. The score marked the second of the game for Gray.
The Vikings struck again at the start of the fourth quarter when Cooper connects with receiver Mon Tabor on a screen pass for a four-yard touchdown reception. Cooper then found Gray on the two-point conversion to give East Hall a 40-15 advantage with 10:29 left in the game.
The Indians could have tossed in the towel at that point, but Lumpkin proved resilient and quickly scored a touchdown to lessen the East Hall lead to 40-23. Kirk once again found the end zone on a quarterback keeper, this time from three yards out, before finding receiver Jared Hoch wide open in the end zone on the two-point attempt.
The Lumpkin defense refused to allow the Vikings to score again in the contest which opened up an opportunity for the Indians’ offense to try to mount a comeback.
Kirk gave everything he had on the Indians’ penultimate drive of the game, picking up 42 yards on the ground and going 2-for-2 for 30 yards through the air on the drive. In the end, Dowdy was able to punch the ball in from a yard out to cut the East Hall lead to 40-29. Kirk then connected with senior Luke Mundy for the two-point try to make it a nine-point game with 24 seconds left on the clock.
The Indians got the ball back after a successful on-side kick and were moving down the field, but a quarterback sack by the Vikings with 10 seconds left sealed the deal.
In the end, the Indians lost their final game of the 2019 season by a final score of 40-31.
After the game, Sorrells spoke to his players and offered them encouragement.
“I want you to know that you got better, you learned a lot and, again, I want you to know that it’s not always going to be like this,” Sorrells said. “I want you to be proud of the things you have done, the things you have learned and the ways you have grown as people. Learning how to fight and how to control the controllable as well as learning how to give your best effort and your best focus are things that will last and be helpful to your lives far past tonight.”
The Indians went 1-9 overall and 0-6 in region play in Sorrells’ first year at the helm.