Sometimes winning ugly can be a beautiful thing.
LaGrange High had one of those games as it won despite the fumbles and penalties. The Grangers erased two deficits and defeated Hampton, 18-14 on Saturday night in a backand- forth non-region football game at Callaway Stadium.
The game was up for grabs until the final seconds. LaGrange High persevered and took what it wanted. The Grangers improved to 2-1 in the process.
“We never panicked. We showed some grit and fight. This win was huge,” said LaGrange High senior quarterback Charles Crawford.
He and the Grangers were behind 7-0 in the first quarter and 14-12 at halftime. LaGrange High still came back on this night.
“We weren’t scared when we got down. We were always confident that we would come back,” said Crawford.
The Grangers had their rally helmets on. Yes, rally helmets. Hampton took a 7-0 lead in the first period on a 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jaivion Dorris to tight end Jordan Hall.
LaGrange High scored in the first quarter, too, on a 25-yard touchdown strike from Crawford to senior split end Dylan Norvell. The Grangers cut the Hornets lead to 7-6. LaGrange High botched the extra point kick.
The Grangers played on and scored with its defense with a 4-yard fumble return for a touchdown from senior linebacker Dawson Jones in the second quarter. LaGrange High scooped up a 12-7 lead.
Hampton then took the lead back on a Dorris 43yard touchdown run with 7:30 left in the first half. The Hornets had the momentum and a 14-12 advantage.
“We kept competing, and we started to play physical,” said Hampton head coach Chad Ashley.
The Grangers still had one more comeback in them. LaGrange High stormed back one last time with a Crawford 10-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Adrian Traylor in the third period. That was the winning score.
LaGrange High inched ahead, 18-14 at the sixminute mark of the quarter.
“We went back to the drawing board. We had hard work and dedication,” said Norvell.
The Granger defense also decided their fate with a Norvell interception in the end zone and a Caleb Ross 11-yard quarterback sack in the fourth period. Ross, a running back as well as a linebacker, also rushed for 28 yards on eight carries for the Grangers.
Charles Crawford also hit the bulls-eye, completing 8 of 14 passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Hampton, 1-2 on the season, was led by Jaivion Dorris with 55 yards rushing and 42 yards passing.
The Hornets also got 65 yards on 11 carries from senior running back Andrew Pavon.
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Chris Fernsler Sports Writer