When Lexington Catholic's Jake Pumphrey missed a 27-yard field goal with a minute left and the score tied 18-18 at Lafayette on Friday night, he thought he might have cost his team a victory.
"I was about to break down," Pumphrey said. "But my teammates helped me out."
Alex Nash, in particular, provided an assist.
On Lafayette's first snap after the missed kick, Nash picked off a pass in the right flat thrown by Garrett Peavler.
Lexington Catholic got the ball on the 20, and after five running plays Pumphrey booted a 22-yard field goal with 10 seconds left to give the Knights a 21-18 victory.
"I didn't think I'd get a second chance, but I was happy I did," Pumphrey said. "The second kick felt great."
This was only the second time Lexington Catholic has played a Lexington public school in football. The Knights beat Henry Clay 30-26 in the 1997 season opener.
Lexington Catholic Coach Bill Letton said he hopes this was the start "of a long line of healthy rivalries within the city. We have nothing but respect for Lafayette.
"The kids were having fun out here, and they treated the fans to a great high school football game.
"I truly think this was the best two teams in the city going head-to-head, just standing in the center of the ring throwing their best punches.
"Fortunately, we got the last punch in."
The Knights had to rally to tie it in the fourth quarter.
Lafayette had come back from an 11-3 deficit to take an 18-11 lead. Tray Chester's 68-yard touchdown catch made it 11-9, and Peavler's pass to Darius Hughes for the two-point conversion tied it at 11.
Bubba Johnson, who had a big night — 20 carries, 143 yards — busted loose on a 58-yard scoring run to put the Generals ahead 18-11 early in the fourth quarter.
But Lexington Catholic quarterback Kyle Bolin went to work and drove the Knights down the field to tie it on a 23-yard TD strike over the middle to Adam Bush.
(Bush also had a 51-yard TD catch in the first half.)
Bolin then orchestrated a 16-play, six-minute drive down the stretch that ended with Pumphrey's first field goal try. But Nash got the ball right back, and the Knights made the second chance count.
Letton said having Bolin direct the show under the gun "is crucial. He can make plays for you. He's not afraid in that situation to throw the ball down the field."
Bolin was 12-for-28 for 163 yards and two scores. Bush had six catches for 120 yards.
Peavler, who started at QB for Lafayette because Jeremy Smith was out with a bad ankle, completed 11 of 19 passes for 226 yards. Chester had six grabs for 159 yards.
Both defenses were solid throughout the night.
Jordan Artrip, Nash and Mike Lynch led the Knights' defense. Jason Ferguson, Justin Carr and Chris Oldham keyed Lafayette's defense.
Generals Coach Carl Hayden said his players "probably won't play on a stage this big until the playoffs, so it's good experience. I was proud of my boys."
Lexington Catholic 0 9 2 10—21
Lafayette 3 0 8 7 —18
Laf—Nathan Gillespie 33 field goal. LC—Adam Bush 51 pass from Kyle Bolin (Jake Pumphrey kick). LC—Safety (Jordan Artrip tackled Garrett Peavler in end zone). LC—Ball snapped out of end zone. Laf—Tray Chester 68 pass from Peavler. (Darius Hughes pass from Peavler.) Laf—Bubba Johnson 42 run (Gillespie kick). LC—Bush 23 pass from Bolin (Pumphrey kick). LC—Pumphrey 22 field goal.
Records: Lex. Catholic 2-1; Lafayette 1-2