Trousdale County fell victim to a pair of big plays in a season-opening 16-12 loss to the Lebanon Blue Devils on the Creekbank Friday night to open the 2018 season.
Lebanon came in looking for a bit of revenge after falling 10-6 to the Yellow Jackets last season on its home field.
“It was three big plays,” said Yellow Jackets coach Brad Waggoner. “We gave up a long pass in the first half, a long touchdown run and one of our touchdowns was taken away.”
The teams played a scoreless first quarter before Lebanon struck first. Quarterback Chandler Crite found receiver Jackson Stafford for a 58-yard touchdown. The Jackets had good defensive position but the 6-foot-4 Stafford went up for the ball and sprinted to the end zone with 9:12 left before halftime.
On the ensuing kickoff, Trousdale County’s Dyson Satterfield fumbled the ball and Lebanon recovered, setting up a 27-yard field goal by Christian Pena to make it 10-0.
The Jackets got on the board in the third quarter, driving the ball downfield and getting a 4-yard run from sophomore Sebastian Linarez. A bad snap on the extra-point attempt left it a 10-6 game.
In the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets drove the ball inside the Lebanon 10 and had appeared to score the go-ahead touchdown when sophomore Cameron Rankins hit sophomore Jayden Hicks in the end zone on a fourth-and-5 play with roughly four minutes left. But the play was called back because of a holding penalty. Rankins’ pass on fourth-and-20 was intercepted in the end zone.
On the ensuing possession, Crite all but sealed the game with a 70-yard run on third down to make it 16-6.
Rankins drove the Jackets back down the field and hit Hicks for a 24-yard TD to make it 16-12 with 29 seconds left. But the Blue Devils recovered a last-ditch onside kick and left with the victory.
“They’re a good football team,” Waggoner said. “I thought our kids fought and we had a chance to win the game. We just came up short.”
Waggoner refused to blame the absence of two key players – Keyvont Baines and Kobe Ford – who each sat out because of disciplinary reasons.
“I don’t look at it that way; we have to go with what we’ve got,” Waggoner said. “Our two running backs (Satterfield, Linarez) played extremely well and Cameron was able to lead us on that last drive and left us with a chance for an onside kick. I’m proud of them.”
Trousdale County will travel to Friendship next week for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or firstname.lastname@example.org.