Boys Varsity Football · Lebanon (8-2) at Blackman (9-1) – Round 1

Devils visit Blackman for playoff opener A banged-up Lebanon High squad returns to the Class 6A playoffs Friday, Nov. 2 sporting an 8-2 overall record, and a third place finish in Region 4-6A.

LHS plays at Region 6-4A runner-up Blackman High (9-1).  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. with live radio coverage on WANT FM-98.9 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

An injury-riddled Blue Devil squad held off Rossview 14-12 Oct. 25, losing Chandler Crite in the first half and Joshua Powell after intermission while Breeze Copas did not dress.

LHS has allowed only 11 points per game, the best defensive performance for the program since the mid-1980s.

Blackman QB Drew Beam has three D-I receivers to choose: Adonis Otey and Trey Knox (both to Arkansas) and Micaelous Elder (MTSU).

Lebanon’s record of 8-2 marks the first winning season since 2006 (6-5) and the most wins for the program since former coach Bobby Brown’s team went 9-3 in 2004.

Lebanon 14, Rossview 12

LEBANON — After years of finding ways to lose games, Lebanon overcame a handful of key injuries and three turnovers to hold off Rossview 14-12 Thursday, Oct. 25 at Tribble Field / Watkins Stadium.

With the victory, the Blue Devils improved to 8-2 on the season, the most wins for the program since 2004, and earned third place in Region 4-6A.

Lebanon’s defense snuffed out a Rossview two-point conversion try that would have tied the game with 6:20 left in the game, then converted a crucial fourth and one near midfield late in the contest to gain a crucial first down and run out the clock.

“This was definitely not the way we planned it,” Coach Chuck Gentry said, “but we preach all the time ‘next man up’. I’m very happy and proud of these young men for the fight and effort they showed.”

Starting quarterback, punter, cornerback and return man Chandler Crite was injured in the late stages of the first half and did not play after intermission.

Backup tailback Josh Powell was sidelined with an ankle injury and junior Breeze Copas did not dress due to an ankle injury.

Copas is Lebanon’s backup quarterback, starting free safety and also returns punts.

Sophomore De’Quantay Shannon ran for a season-high 250 yards and scored a pair of first half touchdowns.

Gentry resorted to using Shannon as a Wildcat tailback, Jackson Stafford as the third punter, sophomore QB Eli Clemmons and even utilizing Jeremiah Hastings on a reverse pass — that resulted in an interception.

Lebanon had not allowed a first quarter point all season until Rossview kicker Zaden Webber drilled a 34-yard field goal with :39 seconds remaining in the period.

Thirty seconds later, the Blue Devils answered with a Shannon touchdown run of 7 yards at the :09 mark to take a 7-3 lead.

Shannon set up the score by reeling off a 73-yard sprint, breaking three tackles along the way.

The Blue Devils pushed the lead to 14-3 on another Shannon score of 26 yards, capping a 15-play, 92-yard drive.

Rossview tallied another Webber field goal late in the third period to trim the margin to 14-6.

The Hawks used a 48-yard pass completion to drive 55 yards on three plays as Jonathan Coffee ran in from six yards out.

Nick Harbor’s attempted quarterback sneak on a silent count was thwarted by the interior of the Blue Devil line.

Rossview was limited to just four first downs, minus-five yards rushing on 20 carries and completed 8-of-15 passes for 168 yards.

LHS piled up 320 yards in total offense — all on 54 rushing attempts.

The Blue Devils turned the ball over three times — twice on interceptions and once on a failed fourth down conversion fumble.

Linebacker Xavier Mills paced the defensive effort with 11 tackles, while Daniel Davila had nine, including a sack, a tackle for loss, an interception and forced a fumble.

Greyson Gregory added nine stops, two tackles for loss and forced a fumble.

BLUE NOTES — Shannon has now run for 1,056 yards in 10 games — the first LHS sophomore to go over the 1,000-yard mark in nearly four decades.

Christian Pena has converted 32 straight PAT attempts.

Mills leads the squad with 82 tackles followed by Parker Burch with 69 and Ryan Brown with 65.


Story by Tommy Bryan, The Wilson Post-Pictures by Bobbie Kay Bryan