In a game that many observers figure will decide the unofficial city championship, Lafayette came from behind on Jalen Sleet's 82-yard kickoff return with 41 seconds left to pull out a 26-19 victory at Bryan Station.
The Defenders had just taken a 19-18 lead on L.J. Warfield's second touchdown of the night, an 11-yard run, with 52 seconds left.
"God the glory," Sleet said after his game-winning dash. "Oh, it was amazing. I feel so good!"
With their fourth consecutive win this season, the Generals (5-2) have won 10 of their last 11 games against Bryan Station.
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The Defenders (4-2) had a three-game winning streak snapped.
"Tough, tough battle. Tough battle," Lafayette Coach Carl Hayden said. "Tough, tough, tough battle. I just want to tip my hat off to (Defenders Coach) Craig Yeast. He's done an unbelievable, phenomenal job over here with these boys."
Lafayette rallied from an early 6-0 deficit to lead 12-6 at halftime, courtesy of the Defenders.
One play after a Lafayette punt deflected off a Bryan Station player, the Generals tied the game at 6 on a 32-yard pass from Garrett Peavler to Darius Hughes.
That came with 7:29 left in the half.
Lafayette's other score, with 10 seconds left, came one play after Bryan Station was unable to get a punt off because of a high snap.
The Defenders lost 35 yards on the play, to their own 5. Peavler then rolled right and ran untouched into the end zone.
Bryan Station took the early lead, on its first possession. L.J. Warfield found the end zone on a 2-yard smash off left guard, capping a nine-play, 73-yard drive.
The Defenders took the lead early in the second half.
After being stopped on downs at the Lafayette 2-yard line, Station got the ball back at the 11 when Charles Randle pounced on a Lafayette fumble.
Two plays later, Everett Talbert ran for a 3-yard touchdown to tie at 12. Michael Morton's kick made it 13-12.
The game was delayed briefly by a power outage during halftime, and was stopped for 25 minutes when Lafayette lost Peavler with 11:05 left. Peavler, leveled by Austin Hendron on a blind-side blitz, was strapped to a back board and taken from the stadium by ambulance.
Hayden said that Peavler appeared to be "fine" when he was finally taken away. "They're taking him in to check on him and make sure everything's OK."
Another high snap prevented a Bryan Station punt in the fourth quarter.
Punter Everett Talbert, who led the Defenders with 9.5 tackles — including a whopping 5.5 for losses — was able to run from his own 2 to the 18.
Lafayette scored moments later on a third-and-nine pass covering 17 yards, from backup quarterback Jeremy Smith to Bubba Johnson. That made it 18-13 for Lafayette with 5:55 left.
Bryan Station regained the lead on Warfield's 11-yard run, which capped an eight-play, 45-yard drive.
"I knew they were going to kick it to me," Sleet said of the ensuing kickoff, which resulted in his touchdown. "Coach put me in there. I had to do it. I had to take it back. ... We never give up. We always fight. We always fight until the whistle blows."
Said Hayden: "I talk to Jalen quite frequently about being a senior and what it means to be a leader and be a playmaker. And when we needed a play, he made it. They blocked on there like I haven't seen all year, and it just worked."
A last-minute desperation pass was intercepted by Curtis Yates, sealing the victory.
Lafayette 25, Bryan Station 19
Lafayette 0 12 0 14—25
Bryan Station 6 0 7 6—19
BS—L.J. Warfield 2 run (run failed); L—Darius Hughes 32 pass from Garrett Peavler (kick failed); L—Peavler 5 run (kick failed); BS—Everett Talbert 3 run (Michael Morton kick) L—Bubba Johnson 17 pass from Jeremy Smith (pass failed); BS—Warfield 11 run (pass failed); L—Jalen Sleet 82 kickoff return (Johnson run).
Records—Lafayette 5-2; Bryan Station 4-2.