LAPEL, Ind. —
What appeared in the beginning to be a Senior Night massacre of the visiting Beech Grove Hornets turned into a nail-biter for the Lapel Bulldogs as they hung on for a 34-32 home victory.
Bulldogs quarterback Brady Cherry got the scoring started at the nine-minute mark of the first quarter as he capped off a six-play, 29-yard drive to give Lapel (3-6, 2-4 Indiana Crossroads Conference) a 6-0 lead.
Beech Grove (2-7, 1-6 ICC) running back Mitchel Messamore countered the Cherry score with a 2-yard run of his own as the first quarter clock expired, and after two failed 2-point attempts the game was knotted at 6-6 after the opening period.
The next 13 minutes proved pivotal as Lapel got on the board three times for a total of 22 points and led 28-6 with less than a minute off the clock in the third quarter.
Super junior Joe Hart stung the Hornets defense by scoring two of the three touchdowns over that span. He had runs of five and 28 yards that went for six points while Bailey Partington had a 16-yard reception from Cherry for the other score.
In the second half, Lapel struggled to contain Jamal Brumfield. He scored three times, two coming on runs of 2 and 45 yards, respectively, and the other on a 12-yard reception from backup quarterback Chase Andries.
Messamore started the Beech Grove second-half scoring explosion with another 2-yard run in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs held a comfortable 28-6 lead with Hart’s score to start the second half, but the game-changing play might have been his 65-yard breakaway run with 2:52 left in the third quarter. That put Lapel up 34-19 and proved to be the difference.
Lapel was outscored 26-12 in the second half and 13-0 in the fourth quarter but managed to hold on with a big fourth-quarter defensive stand.