Justin Carr provided the push on the go-ahead touchdown, then snagged a clinching interception — both plays coming in the final minute — as host Lafayette edged Bryan Station 33-29 in a seesaw shootout Friday night.
The Generals overcame four turnovers and 10 penalties to beat Bryan Station for the 11th time in 12 years.
"It was ugly, but we won and that's what counts," Carr said.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior fullback/linebacker played a key role in the critical closing plays.
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After Bryan Station went ahead 29-26 on Curtis Sellers' 1-yard TD and Kenyon Hipps' two-point conversion catch with three minutes left, Lafayette drove to the Defenders' 1 as the clock ticked away.
Twice the Generals failed to crack Bryan Station's goal-line defense. But on the third try, Lafayette's Garrett Peavler lowered his shoulders, and with Carr shoving him from behind, he got into the end zone with 58 seconds left.
"He was able to give me a nice push when it mattered," Peavler said with a smile.
Bryan Station wasn't done yet. Ora Johnson drove his team to the Lafayette 38. But the Defenders' hopes ended when a Johnson pass deflected off the hands of Marcus Floyd and into the mitts of Carr with 22 seconds left.
"Bryan Station has amazing athletes and great coaches," Lafayette Coach Carl Hayden said. "It always comes down to the wire. Last year we won in the last six seconds, so we weren't letting up for anything."
Lafayette, sparked by Kylan Nelson's 94-yard punt return and 3-yard TD run, jumped ahead 20-7.
Bryan Station got its first TD on Kenyon Hipps' 46-yard interception return, and it closed to within 20-14 just before halftime when Landon Browning sacked Peavler in the end zone and recovered his fumble for a TD.
The Defenders got their first lead at 21-20 when Johnson and Hipps hooked up on a TD pass late in the third quarter.
That's when the seesawing began, with the lead changing three times in the last quarter.
Nelson, a junior speedster, had a huge night for Lafayette. He piled up 420 all-purpose yards and three TDs. He ran 24 times for 141 yards; caught four passes for 77 yards; returned three punts for 139 yards, and had three kick returns for 73 yards.
"Credit to Bryan Station," Nelson said. "It was a great, tough, physical game. But we had the bigger heart tonight."
Peavler completed 12 of 23 passes for 184 yards, two TDs and two interceptions.
Bryan Station overcame five turnovers and nine penalties to push the Generals.
Johnson hit on eight of 24 passes for 77 yards, one TD and was picked off twice. He also rushed 17 times for 80 yards. Shamonta Harrington carried 12 times for 82 yards.
Bryan Station 7 7 7 8—29
Lafayette 13 7 0 13—33
L—Kylan Nelson 94 punt return (kick failed). L—Tranard Chester 38 pass from Garrett Peavler (Nathan Gillespie kick). BS—Kenyon Hipps 46 interception return (Bailey Shier kick). L—Nelson 3 run (Gillespie kick). BS—Landon Browning recovers fumble in end zone (Shier kick). BS—Hipps 9 passs from Johnson (Shier kick). L—Nelson 15 pass from Peavler (run failed). BS—Curtis Sellers 1 run (Hipps pass from Johnson). L—Peavler 1 run (Gillespie kick).
Records: Bryan Station 4-2; Lafayette 4-3