North Bullitt's Dalton Cissell described how his 91-yard kickoff return was set up for him at Lafayette on Friday night.
"Our front blew them up on the outside and opened the hole," Cissell described. "It was pretty. It was pretty."
Cissell, a senior, could have said the same thing about his 69-yard reception from Jordan Mayberry 11/2 minutes into the game that started the Eagles to a 28-21 season-opening victory, gaining revenge for a loss in their 2007 debut.
But it was the grunt work of Cissell and his teammates in the fourth quarter that made the difference after Lafayette used a 67-yard scoring strike to Eric Shaw to get within a touchdown in the final four minutes.
The Eagles had 19 plays to seven for Lafayette in the fourth quarter, and they controlled the ball for 10 minutes and 21 seconds.
The Generals had only 62 seconds and 80 yards to travel to get even. Three incompletions and a 19-yard loss on a high snap left them helpless.
"Ball control is what they do," Lafayette first-year coach Rob Sayre said. "They're built for that."
North Bullitt Coach Brett Nelson credited his offensive line.
"They did a great job up front," he said. "They feel confident Number 5 (Cissell) will give an honest effort."
Shaw gave his effort, too. The Lafayette junior scored his team's three touchdowns. His catch and run with a Matt Britt pass was the only play in a drive that got the Generals within a touchdown.
Shaw finished with four receptions for 90 yards and 101 rushing yards on 17 carries.
"We missed a tackle, and we let them score too quickly," Nelson said.
North Bullitt didn't take long to get on the scoreboard with Cissell's first score.
He caught a short pass, broke a tackle and raced untouched up the middle of the field.
The Generals got a safety on an intentional grounding in the end zone by North Bullitt.
Lafayette's Keenan Green returned the free kick 42 yards to the Eagles' 43. Shaw scored his first touchdown from the 2.
Cissell followed with his kickoff return.
Lafayette tied the score 14-14 when Shaw ran 20 yards two minutes into the second quarter.
North Bullitt broke the tie when a high center snap was recovered by Brandon Campbell in the Generals' end zone midway through the period.
"Our defense came together, and we pulled through," Campbell said.
Cissell scored on a 15-yard run with 1:42 left in the third quarter for a 28-14 Eagles lead.
North Bullitt 28, Lafayette 21
North Bullitt 14 7 7 0—28
Lafayette 8 6 0 7—21
NB—Dalton Cisell 69 pass from Jordan Maybury (Ryan Carter pass from Maybury); L—team safety; L—Eric Shaw, Jr. 2 run (kick failed); NB—Cissell 91 kickoff return (kick blocked); L—Shaw, Jr. 21 run (run failed); NB—Brandon Campbell recovered fumble in end zone; NB—Cissell 15 run (CJ Parker kick); L—Shaw, Jr. 67 pass from Matt Britt (Matt Green kick).
Records: North Bullitt 1-0, Lafayette 0-1.
First downs 10 16
Rushing yards 108 85
Passing yards 76 171
Passes 2-6-0 9-22-0
Punts-avg 2-43 3-33
Penalties-yards 8-31 5-40
Fumbles-lost 2-2 3-2