The annual city rivalry between Laney and Josey ended the teams’ seasons in bitter fashion Friday night.
The Wildcats handled the Eagles 24-6 on the road, but the two sides didn’t finish the game on the field. With the game in hand and around 1:40 left on the clock, a scuffle broke out after an interception around the Laney sideline that drew players from both sides onto the field and lasted around a minute.
Officials decided to end the game early and sent the players to the locker room, effectively ending their seasons with time on the clock.
A young Laney team didn’t have many seniors to send out against Josey, but the handful, including senior leader Mario Sumpter, went out with an eighth consecutive program victory against the Eagles in the final game of their high school careers. Neither team had a chance to make the playoffs entering the week.
Laney (3-7, 3-4 Region 4-AA) moved to 38-14 all-time against Josey (1-9, 0-7), including 15 of the past 16. In the 52nd meeting, the Eagles snapped a skid of six consecutive shutouts with a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, but the Wildcats quickly took control of the game.
A new-look Laney offense out of the wishbone produced 355 rushing yards, including two running backs with more than 100 yards each.
Jarvis Washington rushed 13 times for 114 yards, while Jordan Stringer totaled 102 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
Sumpter went an efficient 7 for 10, completing his first six passes, for 72 yards and a score, while adding 59 rushing yards.
Josey was held to 55 rushing yards and 57 passing yards, and the Eagles were held out of the end zone for the final three quarters.
Josey marched downfield on the opening possession, highlighted by a 16-yard pass from Dakale Fluellen to Myron Godbee, and scored on an 8-yard run by Jacoby Hamm for a 6-0 lead.
Laney quickly answered with nothing but runs from the wishbone and scored on a 9-yard run by Stringer to tie it at 6 at 3:27.
The Wildcats had multiple chances to pull away in the second quarter, but they were stuffed by the Eagles defense at the 5-yard line on one drive and fumbled away at the 10 on another possession. They managed a 6-yard run by Chad Welcher at 11:03 for a 12-6 lead, which held into the half.
Stringer scored on a 5-yard run midway through the third, and Sumpter tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Paige late in the fourth to cap the scoring.