Timing is everything.
For Henry Clay, that time came with about three minutes left Friday night, when Bo Brooks scored the tie-breaking touchdown in a 27-20 victory over Lafayette.
With the scoreboard clock not working at Paul Dunbar High, Lafayette made it just past midfield on the final play of the game, a hook-and-ladder.
"They're a good football team, and it was a tough game," Henry Clay Coach Sam Simpson said. "A good win for us."
The Blue Devils (3-2) snapped a three-game winning streak by Lafayette (3-3).
Lafayette leads the city's oldest rivalry, 33-31-2.
The Generals will play at their rebuilt stadium for the first time next weekend, against Boyle County.
Lafayette rallied to tie the game at 20 on Marlon Johnson's 3-yard touchdown run with perhaps 10 minutes left.
Henry Clay mounted a drive that reached the 6-yard line before a personal foul pushed the Devils back. A.J. Yewell's 26-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide.
Two scrimmage plays later, though, Anthony Mealy forced a Lafayette fumble. Anthony Lindsey recovered for the Devils on the Generals' 28. Moments later, Brooks found the end zone on a 14-yard burst up the middle, and Yewell tacked on the point after.
Brooks helped Henry Clay outrush Lafayette 284 yards to 118, netting 138 on 18 carries. Quarterback Jerry Williams added 79 yards on 20 runs and connected on 10 of 13 passes for 95 yards.
"Anthony Mealy did a great job in the secondary for us," Simpson said. "That was a big play for him — he caused the fumble, and he also made another big hit on a short-yardage play."
Ryan Duzyk led Henry Clay tacklers with 51/2, followed by Lindsey with 41/2.
Lafayette's Andy Hampton was in on seven tackles, Justin Carr on 61/2.
"They're a very tough team," Lafayette Coach Carl Hayden said. "We fought until the last second, just didn't have enough in the tank this time. ... We'll be back."
Generals quarterback Matt Britt completed 12 of 23 passes for 168 yards. Bubba Johnson ran 10 times for 81 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown.
Henry Clay led 13-10 at halftime.
Lafayette struck on the first possession of the game, getting a 21-yard tackle-breaking touchdown run from Bubba Johnson. That came a play after, on third-and-seven, Britt found Tanner Napier deep for a 40-yard gain. Napier finished with 98 yards on six catches.
Henry Clay's first score came after James Hendron recovered a muffed punt on the Lafayette 18. Next play, Williams rolled right and found Vinny Miller open in the end zone.
After a Lafayette punt, Henry Clay took a 13-7 lead. The Devils drove 92 yards in 10 plays. Williams got the 11-yard TD, scrambling up the middle and breaking to the left sideline.
The Generals responded with Matt Green's 41-yard field goal.
Henry Clay increased the advantage to 20-10 on the first possession of the second half. Sean Bryant got the touchdown on a 12-yard run.
Green added a 34-yard field goal to make it a one-score game again, 20-13.
Henry Clay 7 6 7 7—27
Lafayette 7 3 3 7—20
L—Bubba Johnson 21 run (Matt Green kick); HC—Vinny Miller 18 pass from Jerry Williams (A.J. Yewell kick); HC—Williams 11 run (kick failed); L—Green 41 field goal; HC—Sean Bryant 12 run (Yewell kick); L—Green 34 field goal; L—Marlon Johnson 3 run (Green kick); HC—Bo Brooks 14 run (Yewell kick).
Records — Henry Clay 3-2; Lafayette 3-3.