Blue Devils capitalize on 3 Star turnovers -
MURFREESBORO – In a game that produced 661 yards in offense and 37 first downs, a couple of defensive plays down the stretch proved to be the difference in Lebanon's 28-21 victory over Siegel Friday at Ken Nolan Stadium.
Down 21-14 late in the third quarter, Lebanon manufactured a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns and held off a frantic Siegel comeback try in the closing minutes.
The win marked the seventh in a row over Siegel for the Lebanon program dating back to the days when Rick Butler coached the Stars.
“We didn't play well at times, but we definitely fought,” said LHS coach Chuck Gentry. [Trailing 14-7 at halftime] I challenged 'em to respond and play football and I think we came out and did just that.”
The Blue Devil defensive unit surrendered some 330 yards and 19 first downs, but came up with three turnovers, two fumbles and an interception, that helped lock down the win.
Taking the opening kickoff, the Stars methodically drove inside the LHS 10, but coughed the ball up into the waiting arms of defensive tackle Demonte Cook.
Known as a “quick strike” offense, Lebanon reeled off its longest drive of the season and marched 94 yards in 12 plays, before Jaylen Abston found Kemontez Logue open for a 23-yard touchdown pass.
Siegel bounced back by mounting a long scoring drive that covered 80 yards in 14 plays and ended with sophomore QB Thomas Santel locating Boko Nannemann between two defenders for a 20-yards TD pass that knotted the score with 5:36 remaining in the half.
The Stars caught a break movements later when Lebanon juggled a “sky kick” off the foot of AJ Florence that was recovered at the LHS 29.
Five plays later KJ Lewis crashed on from the one to give Siegel a 14-7 lead at intermission.
LHS tied the score at 14-14 midway in the third quarter after taking the second half kickoff and reeling of a 10-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a Brandon Martin 5-yard run.
Once again, Siegel answered, driving 65 yards in eight plays as Cory Sims skirted right end for a TD with 3:23 remaining in the third quarter to push his team ahead 21-14.
The Stars fell victim to another turnover as Lebanon safety Brice Njezic intercepted a Santel pass and returned the ball down to the Siegel 28.
Four plays later, Martin squirmed across the goal line from four yards out tie the score at 21-all with 9:15 remaining in regulation.
Yet another turnover killed a Siegel drive as at the end of a 19-yard run, Sims fumbled the ball to Lebanon's Connor Gannon with 7:51 left.
With 2:42 remaining in the contest, Abston hooked up with Anthony Crowell on a 37-yard wheel route that ended a 60-yard, 8-play drive and gave LHS a 28-21 lead.
Siegel's last-ditch drive ended at the Lebanon 33 as Tracy Shaw caught a pass for 18 yards from Santel, but was tackled as the final horn sounded.
Lebanon (3-1) piled up 331 yards in total offense, 159 on the ground, and 18 first downs.
Playing in place of injured starter Devin Greene, LHS senior Brandon Martin chugged for 80 yards on 15 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Crowell finished with 162 yards from scrimmage as he ran for 45 yards and caught eight passes for 117 as a TD.
Logue had the one reception for 23 yards and a touchdown – giving him six TD's through four games.
Abston connected on 13-of-17 pass attempts for 182 yards and two scores.
Siegel (2-2) ran for 210 yards on 40 attempts, led by Santel with 94 on 17 carries. Sims added 87 yards on 11 carries while Lewis chipped in with 34 yards on seven carries.
Santel completed 8-of-11 pass attempts for 120 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Siegel will be back in action Friday, Sept. 17 at home against Oakland.
Lebanon returns home to face Coffee County that same night for homecoming.
Lebanon 28, Siegel 21
Lebanon 7 0 7 14 – 28
Siegel 0 14 7 0 – 21
L – Kemontez Logue 23 pass from Jaylen Abston. Sean Redmon kick. 00:52 first quarter. 12 plays, 94 yards.
S – Boko Nannemann 20 pass from Thomas Santel. AJ Florence kick. 5:36 second quarter. 14 plays, 80 yards.
S – KJ Lewis 1 run. Florence kick. 3:15 second quarter. 5 plays, 29 yards.
L – Brandon Martin 5 run. Redmon kick. 6:59 third quarter. 10 plays, 71 yards.
S – Cory Sims 9 run. Florence kick. 3:23 third quarter. 8 plays, 65 yards.
L – Martin 4 run. Redmon kick. 9:15 fourth quarter. 4 plays, 28 yards..
L – Anthony Crowell 37 pass from Abston. Redmon kick. 2:42 fourth quarter. 8 plays, 60 yards.