HARTSVILLE—The two halves were completely different stories Friday night, but Lebanon found a way to write the ending it wanted.
Chandler Crite’s 72-yard touchdown run with 2:53 left gave the Blue Devils the final push they needed as they edged Trousdale County, 16-12, in the season opener for both teams.
The win avenged the Yellow Jackets’ 10-6 victory a year ago. For the longest time, it appeared that might be the final score this year before Trousdale mounted a drive deep into Lebanon territory.
The Yellow Jackets got a first down at the Lebanon 11-yard line and appeared to take the lead with a fourth-down touchdown pass, but it was nullified by penalty. On the next play, Lebanon intercepted a pass, wiping out the threat.
The Blue Devils appeared content to run out the clock, but Crite sneaked through and found daylight for a touchdown that made it 16-6.
Trousdale’s Cameron Rankins hit Jayden Hicks with a touchdown pass with 22 seconds left, but Lebanon recovered the onside kick to clinch its first season-opening road victory since 2007.
Crite hit Jackson Stafford with a 59-yard touchdown pass to give Lebanon a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. The senior completed 13 of 16 passes for 149 yards. The Blue Devils recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and Christian Pena followed with a 28-yard field goal to push the margin to 10-0.
Trousdale had only 25 total yards and no first downs in the first half, but turned things around in the second half.
After Dyson Satterfield’s running led the bulk of the way, Sebastian Linarez’s 3-yard touchdown run with 3:42 left in the third quarter cut the lead to 10-6.
Lebanon was stopped on downs, and Trousdale ran the ball 14 straight times to put itself in position to take the lead before the penalty, interception and Crite’s touchdown run put the game out of reach.
Lebanon returns home next week to play McGavock. Trousdale goes on the road to visit reigning Division II-Class A champion Friendship Christian.
Lebanon 16, Trousdale County 12
Lebanon 0 10 0 6—16
Trousdale County 0 0 6 6—12
LB—Stafford 59 pass from Crite (Pena kick), 9:12.
LB—FG Pena 28, 7:33.
TC—Linarez 3 run (kick failed), 3:42.
LB—Crite 72 run (kick failed), 2:53.
T—Hicks 24 pass from Rankins (pass failed).
First downs 8 13
Rush Attempts 27-127 41-169
Passing Yards 149 67
Penalties-Yards 3-15 4-25
RUSHING: Lebanon, Crite 15-73, Shannon 7-52, Copas 3-(-1), Powell 1-2, Kelley 1-1. Trousdale County, Satterfield 26-128, Linarez 11-45, Hicks 2-17, Rankins 2-(-12).
PASSING: Lebanon, Crite 13-16-0-149. Trousdale County, Rankins 5-11-1-67.
RECEIVING: Lebanon, Hastings 7-45, Stafford 3-83, Clemmons 1-9, Kelley 1-7, Shannon 1-5. Trousdale County, Hicks 2-31, Chumley 2-29, Satterfield 1-7.