High School Football

Lafayette upsets No. 7 Henry Clay

They did it again.

For the fourth time in five years, Lafayette knocked off Henry Clay in the city's oldest high school football rivalry. And, for the third time in those five years, the Blue Devils had an unbeaten record spoiled.

Playing in a drizzle that grew into a downpour, the Generals scored a 12-9 victory. Like all of their games this season, due to stadium construction, the win came on the road.

"(Henry Clay is) a good team. They did their thing. But we did all this together: Lafayette!," said William Johnson, who ran for 94 yards and a touchdown and made five tackles. "We just tried our best, and we came out with a victory. ... I'm overwhelmed."

The Generals (4-2), No. 38 in Dave Cantrall's Rating the State, lead the all-time series 33-29-2.

"I'm very disappointed. We laid an egg," said Sam Simpson, the Henry Clay coach. "But that's not to take away from Lafayette. They played inspired. I was impressed. They had a good draw play tonight that we hadn't seen on film, and that caught us off-guard a little bit."

Johnson turned the draw into a 17-yard touchdown, the only score of the first half.

"We did a great job of running the ball. We did a great job tackling the ball," said Rob Sayre, coach of the Generals.

Andy Hampton, on the front line, led Lafayette with 61/2 tackles.

No. 7 Henry Clay (4-1) took a 7-6 lead in the third quarter. Blake Green returned a punt 73 yards for a TD and A.J. Yewell added the PAT.

But Marlon Johnson, William's brother, returned the ensuing kickoff 78 yards for a touchdown. The Generals missed a two-point conversion try, leaving the score 12-7.

"Henry Clay's a good team. They just scored, and we had to do something with the ball," Marlon Johnson said. "So I got some good blocks, and there you go. ... I feel so good, but I give it up to my teammates."

That's the way it stayed until 18 seconds remained, when Eric Shaw Jr. took an intentional safety.

Henry Clay had only one offensive play left, but Marlon Johnson intercepted a desperation pass.

William Johnson's score capped a 10-play drive of 70 yards. That came after Henry Clay's first offensive play — with Trey Benson forcing a fumble and Matt Barjuca recovering for the Generals.

Henry Clay squandered two second-quarter chances.

Cy Curnutte recovered a fumble on the Generals' 35-yard line, but three plays lost 2 yards. The Devils punted.

Then, Lafayette punter Matt Green was smothered by Matt Cox before getting a kickoff. That gave Henry Clay the ball on Lafayette's 42 with 3:17 left in the half. The Generals lost the ball on downs at the 29.

The Devils, held without a first down in the third quarter, picked one up early in the fourth. Moments later, though, Shaw intercepted.

Henry Clay's defense held, and the Devils drove to the Lafayette 11-yard line. There, on fourth-and-two, Shamon Brown burst through the line to drop Shannon Coofer for a 5-yard loss with 2:09 left.

"I just sat back and watched it," Brown said. "My coach told me 'just squat down ... and just wait for it,' and it came directly to me."

Devils quarterback Jerry Williams missed practice after suffering a sprained ankle on Monday. So Simpson sees better days ahead.

"I believe in this team," he said, "and we'll bounce back."

Lafayette 12, Henry Clay 9

Lafayette 6 0 6 0—12

Henry Clay 0 0 7 2 — 9

L—William Johnson 17 run (kick failed); HC—Blake Green 73 punt return (A.J. Yewell kick); L—Marlon Johnson 78 kickoff return (run failed); HC—Safety.

Records: Lafayette 4-2, Henry Clay 4-1.