GALLATIN -- Coaches always want their teams to excel in all three phases of the game -- offense, defense and special teams.
Most games teams usually excel at one or two, but rarely all three. But when they excel at three it results in a domination performance, and that is what the Lebanon Blue Devils did Friday night.
The Blue Devils outgained Station Camp Bison 321-39 in yardage and 38-0 on the scoreboard. Also on special teams, Lebanon held the advantage, as its return team routinely help the Blue Devils' offense start with good field position. On the 12 drives Lebanon had in the game, only two started inside its own 40-yard line.
"Anytime you can have good kickoff or punt returns, it helps your offense, with a short field," said Lebanon coach Chuck Gentry. "Defensively it flips the field position in your favor, and make it harder on the opposing team."
The kickoff return unit got the game off to a quick start as De'Quantay Shannon returned the opening kickoff 34 yards. Then on the game's first offensive snap, Shannon ran 27 yards. Two plays later quarterback Breeze Copas connected with Dalton Woods on a 23-yard touchdown pass to give the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Late in the quarter, Shannon ripped off a 55-yard run for his first touchdown of the game, increasing the Blue Devils' lead to 14-0.
After the teams traded punts in the second quarter, Lebanon kicker Christian Pena increased the lead to 17-0 with a 39-yard field goal.
Station Camp then had its deepest drive of the game, thanks to a couple of Lebanon penalties. The Bison drove to the Blue Devils' 34-yard line, but quarterback Max Barnett threw incomplete passes on third and fourth down to halt the drive.
Lebanon took the ball and drove 66 yards in 11 plays, the final 4 yards was a touchdown pass from Copas to Polo Phillips with nine seconds remaining in the first half. Copas finished the game 8-of-14 for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
"Breeze is a hard worker, and he has a great arm," said Gentry. "Tonight was probably his best game passing as a quarterback, and I am proud of him because he has worked really hard."
The second half started with each team forcing the other to punt. On the Bison's second possession, Barnett was intercepted by Jesse Montgomery, who returned the pick to the Bison 20-yard line. However, the Blue Devils were flagged for a low block and a personal foul late hit, moving the ball back to midfield.
After the interception the teams traded punts again. On the Bison punt, Blue Devils return man Levi Sampson returned the ball 51 yards to Bison 5-yard line. Two plays later Shannon scored his second touchdown of the game, this time from 2 yards to increase the lead to 31-0 early in the fourth quarter.
Lebanon then got the ball back with 5:05 remaining at the Bison 36-yard line, after another Sampson punt return, this one for 25 yards. For the game Sampson had 155 yards on five returns. Brandon Martin ran three consecutive times for 36 yards,
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including the last 4 for the touchdown to make the final 38-0.
Shannon finished the game with 145 yards on 19 carries. While the Blue Devils' defense held the Bison to 10 yards rushing, sacked Barnett seven times and intercepted him once.
With the win the Blue Devils went to 4-3 overall, but more importantly 2-1 in Region 4-6A play, with two league games left.
The Blue Devils are still looking to get the first home playoff game since moving to Danny Watkins Field/Clifton Tribble Stadium in 2012. Lebanon's most recent home playoff game was in 2004 at Nokes-Lasater Field against Coffee County.
"That is a goal, we haven't had a home playoff game since moving to the new campus," said Gentry.