Loudon extends streak against Lenoir City

By John Shearer knoxnews.com
LOUDON Lenoir City looked as though it might easily break its losing streak against rival Loudon Friday night after the Panthers' Terrance Hall scored an apparent touchdown on the opening kickoff.

The play, which was actually negated by a penalty, would not be indicative of the game in outcome or style, however, as host Loudon was able to prevail, 18-9, in a mostly defensive struggle.

The game also extended the winning streak to seven for the Redskins in the annual "Battle of the Bridge," although victory certainly did not come easily after Loudon found itself behind for most of the first half.

"I asked them at halftime who wanted to be a hero," said an excited Loudon coach Jeff Harig after the game. "People didn't give us a chance. It was a great victory."

During the first half, the Redskins definitely looked as though they were rebuilding after losing a number of starters from last year.

Less than two minutes after the kickoff return was called back, Hall found himself back in the end zone after a 22-yard pass from Jordan Hall. This time the officials' touchdown signals, and not any flags, went up in the air and Lenoir City led, 7-0.

But Loudon refused to buckle. After a Lenoir City pass on a fourth-down fake punt was knocked out of the receiver's hands, a big reception by Zach Sellers put the Redskins on the Panthers' 27.

On the same drive in the second quarter, Loudon was able to tie the game on a Dylan Hammonds' 1-yard TD.

Lenoir City continued to look strong offensively in the first half, however, and moved the ball near the goal-line. However, Loudon made a valiant stand, but gave up a safety a short time later to give Lenoir City a 9-7 lead.

With 8:19 in the third quarter, Loudon took the lead for good on a 41-yard field goal by K.C. Radar.

Early in the fourth, sophomore quarterback Trent Elliott put Loudon up 16-9 on a 28-yard run. Then, in one of several razzle-dazzle special teams plays mixed in among more vanilla offensive plays, Ryan McNabb closed out the scoring with a two-point play.

"I thought our kids believed and played hard," said Harig. "This is a life-long memory."