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West Lauderdale takes slim win over Southeast

By Staff
Thomas Burton/special to The Star
October 26, 2002
COLLINSVILLE Brett Favre, John Elway and Joe Montana are considered the all-time best come from behind quarterbacks. Southeast sophomore Drew Harper with two minutes left had his chance to be one of the prep elite but a tipped pass intercepted by West Lauderdale's Shundrick Scott exstinquished any hope of a comeback.
West Lauderdale held on for the 13-12 win over Southeast. The win keeps the Knights' playoff hopes alive after improving to 2-3 in Region 5-3A.
Missing from the Knights was featured running back Carlessio Blanks. Jeff Marchese suited up ready to carry the weight as he ran for 53 yards in the first half.
Southeast made a huge defensive stand in the first quarter with tackles by Alex Michael and Andy Landrum.
The Knights countered back with big hits from Adrian Demitris and Scott to stop the running game of LaPatrick Carlisle.
The Tigers were able to get a first down but on the first play from the Southeast 44-yard line Harper nearly got picked off by Marchese. He couldn't hang on.
Harper on the next play tested his luck as Demitris obtained the ball for the interception, gaining 55 yards to the Tiger 4-yard line.
Quarterback C. Jay Fountain ran it with 5:20 on the clock for the score as Jay Warren hit the PAT to put the Knights on top 7-0.
Southeast stuck with their guns early in the second quarter with Landrum breaking out with runs that totaled nearly 35 yards and a pass from Harper for eight yards as that set up a touchdown run for five yards. On the extra point attempt, holder Kyle Dawson tried to execute fake but was stopped short on the two-point conversion, keeping the Knights lead at 7-6.
With 9:44 left in the half both teams continued to play smash-mouth defense.
Landrum came up in the clutch on a blitz to stop the Knights, as Richie McAlister and Brent Boutwell returned the favor by sacking Harper on fourth and 14 with 4:38 left in the first half.
The half ended on a bizarre face mask penalty. West Lauderdale got a deep pass from Fountain but Christian Trussell couldn't haul it in. The face mask penalty by the Tigers was declined as the Knights held on to the ball.
With just under a minute Fountain stepped right back up from the Tiger 22-yard line and fired a bullet to Danny Siefker for the touchdown. The PAT by Warren was no good as the score going into halftime was 13-6.
Southeast came out jumping in the third quarter. Harper this time got help from Kwamel O'Neal as he made a 16-yard pick up and a third-down play.
The Tigers got to the goal line but McAlister, Boutwell, and Brian McDonald tried to stop the bleeding.
Harper on fourth down got the team back in contention with a keeper to the left for a five yard touchdown. Harper failed on his pass for the two-point conversion at the West Lauderdale lead was cut to one at 13-12.
For the rest of the game both teams wore each other with tight defense. Both teams couldn't avoid the penalties. The fans of West Lauderdale kept their team in the game.
Southeast got the ball back with 3:52 left in the game. Harper from the Tiger 35 started things off with a 22-yard pass to Landrum. Landrum was the target again as he caught the next pass for a seven-yard gain to make it to midfield.
On second and 12 with 2:25 on the clock Harper threw a 19-yard pass to Landrum again to set the stage for a remarkable comeback.
Harper took the snap and looked down field with Scott coming up on him, Harper released the trigger. Scott reached up for the sky and out came the football that cliched the victory for the Knights.
Southeast got one more chance but couldn't hang on, as the Knights won 13-12.
The Knights can clinch a play-off berth with a win versus Carthage next week. Their record improves to 3-6 overall and 2-3 in the 5-3A division.
Southeast drops to 1-8 overall and 0-4 in the division.

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