Mount Juliet took the field in one of the most electric entrances I’ve seen this season, that you can watch below.
Their offense received the ball to start the game looking to keep that energy going. They came up just short when a Bears receiver dropped a 35-yard touchdown pass. This resulted in a punt, giving Anthony Crowell and The Blue Devils a chance to take an early lead on the road. While they were not able to capitalize on the early opportunity, their defense gave them another shot by forcing and recovering a Mount Juliet fumble on the Lebanon 40-yard line. Penalties would back them into a first and 34 hole which would turn into a third and 34. Lebanon could not overcome the massive down and distance and punted back to The Bears, who then punted back to Lebanon. At the end of the first quarter we were still tied up at 0-0. Whoever managed to score first in this one would instantly get a jolt of not only energy, but all the momentum in the game.
To begin the second quarter, Lebanon running back Sean Heath, exploded for a 40-yard run and a 13- yard run, both on third downs, setting The Blue Devils up in the redzone for the first time. However, Lebanon’s third sideline infraction of the game would back them up past the 30-yard line. This resulted in a critical third down and near 20 that Anthony Crowell nearly picked up, giving his team the option to go for it on fourth and one inside the 15, but another penalty would make it fourth and six. After a Blue Devil timeout, the offense retook the field and ran a sweep to Crowell… or so everyone in Mount Juliet believed. Crowell pulled up and threw a rainbow into the end zone to Nolan Sandefur for the first touchdown of the game making it 7-0 Lebanon with eight minutes to go in the half. With that touchdown, Lebanon had opened the floodgates of momentum, and they would continue to build. On Mount Juliet’s next drive, after a long completion by Tyler Travers, who had been perfect in the game so far excluding two drops, the Bears ran a double reverse handoff, and the second handoff hit the grass. The Lebanon defense pounced on the ball, giving their offense great field position. The Lebanon offense would capitalize with a touchdown pass from the usual suspects from Lebanon, Abston to Crowell. That would make the score 14-0 Blue Devils with 3:22 to go in the half. The next drive for The Bears would be critical as Lebanon would receive the ball to start the second half. The Lebanon defense would stand strong, and the score would remain 14-0 as the players headed to the locker room.
Mount Juliet would have to make a stop as the second half began. The defense came through and the special teams stepped up as Daniyan Osize set The Bears up with great field position on the other side of the 50 with a great punt return. It would be for naught, as the Lebanon defense turned away the Mount Juliet offense once again. Crowell would make his presence felt again for Lebanon, as he darted 30 yards down the field after a ten-yard completion by Abston. After working the ball down inside the five, The Blue Devils would run “Student Body Left,” and Abston would plunge into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game, making it 21-0 Lebanon. A response would have to come from Mount Juliet soon. On third and long, Travers gave some life back to The Bears with a 45-yard deep ball completion to the Lebanon 25. The Bears picked up another first down inside the 15. They were marching and looked to cut into the Blue Devil Lead. It was first and goal for The Bears from the 10. Three direct snaps to DeArrius Morton would work the ball down to the one. Fourth and goal from the 1, and Morton lines up for another direct snap. He darts his way to the half yard line and pulls up for a pop pass complete to Rayder Soto. The PAT would be blocked by Key Crowell, and the score would be 21-6 Lebanon.
The fourth and final quarter would begin with Mount Juliet forcing a punt and giving their offense another chance to cut into the Blue Devil lead. They were not able to capitalize and punted back to Lebanon. The Blue Devils would then begin a 70-yard scoring drive that you can watch below, capped off by Sean Heath with his first touchdown of the night making it 27-6 Blue Devils. To cap off the win, Brison Jackson would intercept Travers and the Lebanon offense would run out the rest of the clock. The final score, 27-6 Lebanon.
Lebanon running back Sean Heath is our MVP for this game. Heath had multiple key third down conversions and the game sealing touchdown on a drive where he was leaned on heavily.
I asked him about the rivalry and his performance and he had this to say:
“It feels amazing. Came out here and beating MJ, it feels amazing. We went out there and we executed. I just try my best, have faith in my teammates, and played our hearts out.”