Cougars fight hard in state loss

By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor

November 9, 2013

The finest season in Lafayette Christian School history ended with a hard-fought loss to Harvester Christian Friday night.

The Cougars, hoping to secure a spot in the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama eight-man football championship game, fought Harvester Christian to the wire on Friday, but in the end they came up a few points short.

The Cougars had the ball twice in the closing minutes with a chance to drive for the go-ahead score, but they were unable to make it happen, and Harvester hung on for a 29-24 victory.

‘I’m really, really proud of our kids,” Lafayette Christian School Nick Nehring said. “They played really tough. What can you say. I’m happy we had a chance at the end.”

Harvester scored a touchdown with a little more than seven minutes remaining to take a 29-24 lead.

The Cougars couldn’t get anything going on their ensuing possession, and they punted the ball.

The Cougars nearly got a big break when Graham Oliver forced a fumble, but a Harvester played landed on the ball.

Harvester eventually punted, and the Cougars got the ball for the final time with about a minute left, but they were unable to move the ball.

“We had a chance to make something happen at the end, but we just couldn’t quite get anything going,” Nehring said.

The game started poorly for the Cougars, who fumbled on two of their first three offensive plays, and they were down 8-0.

On their third possession, though, the Cougars drove for a touchdown, with Aaron Dixon taking it in from six yards out, and the extra point made it an 8-7 game.

In the second quarter, Harvester scored another touchdown to go ahead 15-7.

The Cougars, using a trick play, answered with a touchdown of their own.

Quarterback Matt Brown threw a lateral to Jeremy Fain, who threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Dixon, and the extra point made it a one-point game.

The Cougars got the ball one more time before the half, and they were on about the 20-yard line with time left for one more play.

Ethan Pike told Nehring he could make the field goal, and true to his word, he made the 37-yard kick to give the Cougars a 17-15 halftime lead.

“He was confident, and he made it,” Nehring said. “It was a beautiful kick.”

After a scoreless third quarter, Harvester scored on a long run in the fourth quarter, and the two-point conversion put Lafayette Christian in a 23-17 hole.

The Cougars came right back with a go-ahead touchdown.

Brown’s 5-yard keeper and the extra point gave the Cougars a 24-23 lead.

Harvester responded with a touchdown to grab a five-point lead, and this time Lafayette Christian was unable to answer.

“It’s tough to lose when you play hard,” Nehring said. “Our kids played really tough. I was very proud of them.”