The Laurel Tornadoes fell 21-20 Friday night in a contest that was tightly contested from start to finish. Four full quarters, and even one play after the clock had already hit zero, was not enough to determine a winner. The contest came down to a point after attempt in double overtime by sophomore Luke Smith that gave the War Eagles a victory at home.
Wayne County struck first with a touchdown run by Kelnevious Walley in the first quarter. Laurel bounced back with a scoring drive of their own, with Xavier Evans entering the end zone for his fourth rushing touchdown of the season. The two teams entered halftime tied up 7-7.
Following a defensive stand, the War Eagles drove down field on their first drive of the third quarter and recaptured the lead with a rushing score by Shadamian Williamson. Despite little offensive success in the second half, the Tornadoes worked their way down field with under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter for an opportunity to tie things up. The clock hit zero after a failed pass attempt into the end zone from the three-yard line, but an illegal substitution penalty against the War Eagles allowed for one more snap. Evans took advantage of the opportunity and connected with Kanarius Johnson in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown to send the game to overtime.
Both teams' drives in the first overtime period ended with missed field goals, forcing a second overtime period to be played. The Tornadoes then scored on a pass from Evans to Bryce Page. The point after attempt, however, was no good, leaving Laurel to defend a 20-14 advantage.
On third down of the ensuing drive, Williamson reached the end zone for the second time of the evening to tie the ballgame once again. Sophomore kicker Luke Smith then successfully kicked the extra point to bring the game to an end.
"Congratulations to Wayne County," said Tornadoes head coach Todd Breland after the game. "They made the plays when they had to make them. I thought that throughout the game we just made a few too many mistakes. We're still a really good football team, and we're going to get better. I wish we would've pulled it out, but this is a learning process, and we'll learn from it."
The Tornadoes, now 2-1 on the season, will be back between the bricks next Friday night for another non-district competition against the Petal Panthers.