Simpson's second half rally seals road win
Southern Sports & Travel, By Darron Thomas
Lamar quarterback Tyler Harris then orchestrated an eight play, 68 yard drive that culminated on a wild 4th and nine play from the Simpson 27 yard line. Harris would be forced to scramble and the senior launched a pass just over the outstretched hands of a Simpson defender to connect with Gane Duggan in the endzone at the 7:11 mark of the first quarter. Dusty Weisner’s PAT gave the Raiders an early 7-0 lead.
Lamar took advantage of the wind at their back to end the first quarter. After a 37 yard punt from Simpson’s Michael Layton set the Raiders up at their own 35 yard line with just one second remaining in the opening quarter, Tyler Harris nailed Gane Duggan on a sideline route and the senior tailback outraced the Simpson defenders for a 65 yard touchdown connection that brought the Lamar crowd into a frenzy. Weisner’s PAT ended the quarter as a shocked Simpson squad stared at a 14-0 deficit after one quarter of play.
Entering into the final quarter with the game tied at 14-14 Simpson pounded out a 66 yard drive that included a healthy dose of Cade Eiland. The senior rushed for 49 yards on the drive and capped it with a 36 yard burst for glory with 7:49 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Cougars their first lead of the night at 20-14.
Things quickly deteriorated for Lamar. The Raiders set up shop at their own 21 on the ensuing possession but on first down Tyler Harris fumbled while being sacked by Simpson defensive end Mason Fewell and junior Shane Brown recovered for the Cougars at the Lamar 19 yard line.
Two plays later Cade Eiland increased the Simpson lead as the senior went in from five yards out at the 7:13 mark of the fourth quarter. Quarterback Brandon Johnston then hit Garrett Taylor for the successful two point conversion to give Simpson a 28-14 lead.
Simpson dashed any hopes of a Lamar comeback as sophomore linebacker Daniel Taylor picked of Tyler Harris at the Cougar 47 yard line with 5:45 remaining in the game.
With the win Simpson finished the regular season campaign at 10-0 and 3-0 in District 4-AA play.
Lamar falls to 6-5 and finished 1-2 and third in district.
Tailback Cade Eiland led the Cougars with 176 yards rushing on 31 carries and two touchdowns while fellow senior tailback Garrett Taylor added 120 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.
Gane Duggan of Lamar picked up 104 yards on 3 receptions and two touchdowns, Tyler Harris passed for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns and Michael Marcello rushed for 45 yards on 5 carries.
Simpson will enjoy home field advantage throughout the playoffs and will host Silliman next Friday in Mendenhall.Lamar will travel to Centreville as the top wildcard team from the south and will take on the 3rd ranked Tigers.
Post Game with Simpson head coach Billy Wayne Hankins