In a game dominated by the offenses, it was a defensive play that helped the Lafayette Christian School Cougars get a big win Friday night in an eight-man football game.
The offenses for Lafayette Christian and Heritage were running up and down the field, with neither defense doing much to stop the opponent.
That changed in a big way when Heritage got the ball trailing 32-26 in the second half.
That’s when Ethan Pike stepped in and provided arguably the biggest play of the game.
Pike intercepted a pass and returned it about 75 yards for the touchdown, and the Cougars dominated the rest of the game to take a 46-26 victory.
It was a big win for the Cougars (2-1 overall) since the game was their region opener.
Lafayette Christian head coach Nick Nehring felt his team’s conditioning was a difference in the second half.
“We’ve really been trying to condition hard, and it really paid off in the second half,” Nehring said. “We were able to keep up a high level of play. We kind of wore them down in the second half, and I was glad to see that. They were a tough ball club. It was a grueling game.”
It was a 20-20 game at the half.
Matt Brown had a rushing touchdown, and he also threw a scoring pass of 22 yards to Jeremy Fain.
Trailing 20-13, the Cougars finished the first half with a bang when Graham Oliver returned a kickoff for a touchdown, and the extra point deadlocked the score.
In the third quarter, after Heritage took a 26-20 lead, Oliver had another long kickoff return, setting up Trey Kirkland’s 7-yard run, and it was tied at 26-26.
Kirkland then had another rushing touchdown to give the Cougars the lead, and Pike then came through with his huge defensive play, and suddenly it was a 38-26 game.
After an Eli Sheppared interception and a long return, Brown’s touchdown run and the two-point conversion capped the scoring.
Lafayette Christian will travel to Albany on Friday to take on Byne Christian School.