Hereford runs past Lackey

Touchdown on broken play helps Bulls stop Chargers' comeback attempt

No. 5 Hereford 35 Lackey 20

State semifinals Class 3A

December 01, 2007|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

No. 5 Hereford opened a big lead against Lackey in last night's 3A state semifinal, but the Chargers refused to quit and changed the momentum of the game with two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter.

Things appeared to get worse for the Bulls with a bad snap on a field-goal attempt. However, backup quarterback David Wood picked up the ball and then threw a short pass to Nick DePaola, who ran 12 yards for a touchdown.

Bulls coach Steve Turnbaugh said that play proved to be the difference in the game as Hereford advanced to the state final with a 35-20 victory.

"This is the best team we have played," Turnbaugh said. "The play of the game was by David Wood. That was a bad snap and then a heads-up play by the 10th grader and then another heads-up play by DePaola."

Hereford and Lackey are no strangers to the state playoffs as the Bulls have three state titles, most recently in 2002, and the Chargers have been to the state semifinals in three of the past five years and won a state title in 1986. Lackey entered the semifinals at 7-5, but three of those losses stemmed from forfeits because the Chargers used ineligible players in those games.

Hereford (13-0) opened the scoring after a bad punt that gave the Bulls the ball on Lackey's 26-yard line with 1:41 left in the first half. On the next play, quarterback Tyler Brown threw a pass to Jason Fischer, who was running down the far sideline, for the game's first touchdown.

The Bulls added to their lead with 7:11 left in the third quarter with a 10-play, 54-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Lonnie Liggins. Liggins finished with 109 yards on 23 carries.

"This is one big family," he said. "When we bring our `A' game, we are one of the best teams in the state."

Hereford appeared to put the game out of reach on a 40-yard touchdown run by DePaola and a 4-yard touchdown run by Hasani Cromwell that gave the Bulls a 28-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Darrell Givens scored Lackey's first touchdown with 10:45 left on a 96-yard kickoff return. The Chargers cut the lead to 28-14 on Malcolm Willis' 37-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Waugh.

Lackey unsuccessfully attempted an onside kick and the Bulls got the ball on the Chargers' 35. Wood then put the game away with his touchdown pass. After the touchdown, Hereford kicker Adam Yates broke a state record by converting his 76th extra-point of the season.

A 1-yard sneak by Willis made the score 35-20 with 1:25 left.

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