By Travis Miller
Lebanon will have to work a little overtime Saturday afternoon to move to 2-0 on the high school football season.
Despite not a single drop falling at Lebanon High School, lightning forced a pair of weather delays Friday night as the Tigers made their home debut for the 2013 season. The second delay came with nine minutes and 27 seconds remaining in the game and the Tigers holding a 30-7 lead over Greenfield-Central.
“We’re looking for the kids to come out like it is 0-0 and play hard,” Lebanon coach Kent Wright said. “We’d like to go in there and get another score and then see if we can sub in some guys.
Lebanon appeared to be well on its way to a win after scoring on its opening possession. Jalen Harris returned the opening kickoff 51 yards the Greenfield 40 yard line, setting up a 10-play, 40 yard drive powered by Jamason Wright and Isaac Harker. Harker finished the drive with a five-yard plunge to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Greenfield responded after taking possession late in the first quarter at the Lebanon 31 yard line thanks to a poor punt. It took only one play to tie the game, as Jeremiah Fields hit Stephen Dickerson on a 31-yard scoring pass with 1:08 left in the first quarter to make it 7-7.
“That was most definitely a missed assignment and they capitalized,” Wright said. “We knew they were going to try to hit that seam all night and the majority of the time we were ready for it. WE just didn’t get rotated over into it enough.”
The Tigers took a 17-7 lead into the half thanks to a short field both times. A poor punt after recovering a fumble gave Lebanon the ball at Greenfield’s 32-yard line and nine plays later Harker was back in the end zone after a one yard dive. The Tigers converted two fourth down chances on the drive, but needed all four plays after a first and goal from the one to score.
Lebanon would add a 22-yard field goal by Nathan Kincaid with less than a minute to go before the half after the Cougars turned the ball over on downs at midfield. The three points came after a 44 yard pass from Harker to Zach Unger. Though Lebanon had 17 points at the half, they fumbled three times, losing only one.
Fortunately, the defense was more than up to the task. Aside from Greenfield’s big play, the Cougars got virtually nothing and never seriously threatened to score on any of their other eight possessions. The Cougars had just 92 yards of total offense when the second delay happened.
The first weather delayed occurred after a Greenfield punt with 10:47 left in the third quarter. The teams retreated to the locker room for close to 45 minutes before coming back with Lebanon in possession at midfield. The Tigers immediately went to the air, hitting Zach Unger for a 44 catch down to the six yard line.
“We had been running the ball very successfully and we didn’t think they would be ready for that pass,” Wright said. “We decided to go up top right off the bat and Isaac threw a nice ball. It probably would have been a touchdown but Zach stumbled a bit.”
Jamason Wright scored from nine yards out to make it 23-7. Harker would score his third touchdown on the ground with a 22-yard run on Lebanon’s next possession, giving the Tigers a 30-7 lead after three quarters.
At the weather break Wright had 122 yards on 29 carries, while Harker had 51 yards and three touchdowns.
Watch Tuesday’s Lebanon Reporter for the results of the game’s finale Saturday.