NASHVILLE -- Ray Banner scored three touchdowns — and his coach said he believes Banner scored a fourth one — as La Vergne kept Overton winless with a 42-14 victory last Friday night at Nick Coutras Field.
The Wolverines (3-3, 2-1 in Region 5-6A) stopped a two-game losing streak and held on to the fourth playoff spot in the region. Overton (0-7, 0-3), playing its Homecoming game, allowed at least 40 points for the fourth time this season.
Banner finished with 187 yards rushing on 24 carries, 14 of them in the second half. He scored the Wolverines’ first touchdown on a 15-yard run up the middle on the first play of the second quarter. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Overton, which beat La Vergne 41-26 last season, helped to set up the touchdown.
Quarterback Lavandrea Webb led La Vergne’s other scoring drive in the first half, passing to a wide-open Kaydon Gardner, who caught the ball at the 3 and completed the 18-yard scoring play. Webb also threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Dagem Samuel early in the fourth quarter.
Webb completed 12-of-20 passes for 218 yards and one interception.
But it was Banner who ended up with the ball for half of the Wolverines’ plays in the second half.
He broke a 14-14 halftime tie on a 3-yard scoring run with 3:22 left in the third quarter. Banner set up the scoring run with a 41-yard gain on a screen pass. Overton fumbled the kickoff return and Elijah Lias recovered it for La Vergne at the Overton 25. Three plays later, Banner scored his second touchdown in 90 seconds, running 20 yards to the end zone.
“The outside was just open to run. My guards were pulling the right way all night,” Banner said.
On La Vergne’s first drive of the second half, Banner fumbled at the goal line and Overton’s Jabarius Wynn recovered the ball in the end zone. La Vergne Coach Stanton Stevens said that he thought Banner had crossed the goal line before fumbling.
Stevens said he put pressure on his offense to play better after scoring six points in a loss to Stewarts Creek last week.
“We had a little bit of a hangover from last week and it took us a while to get going,” Stevens said. “We challenged our offensive line to take control of the game. Sometimes you go back to basics and tell your running back ‘look, you are going to get the ball.’ ”
The Bobcats rushed 27 times for 84 yards, feeling the impact of 6-foot-7, 275-pound tackle Chris Washington standing on the sideline with a concussion he received at the end of the previous week’s loss to Cane Ridge. Washington is a University of Miami commitment. La Vergne recorded five tackles for loss in the game.
Gardner led La Vergne with three catches for 55 yards.
Mycheal Yates led the Bobcats with 71 yards rushing on 17 carries. Robert Corbin had four catches for 49 yards and two touchdown catches in the first half. Overton converted two fourth-down plays on the drive for Corbin’s first touchdown.
Overton had four personal foul calls and two players ejected. Only the coaches shook hands at midfield after the game as the players remained on their respective sidelines.
The Wolverines play their final non-region game of the regular season on Friday with a trip to Wilson Central, which has lost three consecutive games after winning its first four to start the season. Overton has its bye week, then plays Antioch on Oct. 18 for its final home game of the season.