Having lost crucial seconds moments earlier, Laney still had one more chance. But the hope ended with a short completion: There was little room to get a score and no more time to get it.
With 5.3 seconds to play, the No. 10 Laney football team threw about a 9-yard pass on the final play but didn’t reach the end zone and lost at home to Westminster of Atlanta, 15-12, on Friday night. On the play before, quarterback Quinton Hall scrambled for a first down and the officials signaled to stop the clock. The clock didn’t stop right away and precious time disappeared.
Laney had failed to score again despite moving deep into Westminster territory. The first trip finished with a fumble near the 1-yard line; two earlier possessions ended inside the Westminster 30.
“The officials blew it dead and I thought we had it there, but, hey, we missed some plays,” Laney coach Lemuel Lackey said.
Laney, which also missed a key extra point after its first score, started its final drive at its 33 and moved quickly behind pass plays and Hall runs. But the drive that could have been impressive came up short.
The 3-AA squad had rallied from a 12-0 deficit behind the speedy ground game. George Myers rushed for 175 in the game – one burst in the third quarter went 94 yards – and Hall and DeMarcus Nunnally combined for 146 more. Laney put up 464 yards in the loss.
Westminster endured, primarily because of Harrison Butker.
Besides the Jake Forte-Jake Johnson passing combination setting up a short touchdown late in the second quarter, Westminster (1-2) earned its points from the powerful kicking of Butker. After starting around midfield on its first two possessions, Westminster needed only one first down to get booming kicks from Butker, with the longest one traveling 52 yards. He missed one of his three first-half attempts from 49 yards out.
“Once they crossed the 30, they felt like they had points,” Lackey said.
Butker also pinned Laney deep on punts and kickoffs, drilling each kickoff attempt past the goal line for a touchback.
As for the Westminster offense, the visitors marched on their one large drive at the perfect time. Westminster went from its 21 to the Laney 6 before the possession stalled and Butker kicked in what ended up as the 22-yard game-winner with 6:59 remaining in the game.
“This is awesome to get a win like this on a road against a great team,” Westminster coach Gerry Romberg said.