Originally created 09/06/97

Westside pulls plug on Evans



The start of the game may have been delayed by a power outage but is was with just 16 seconds left that Westside pulled the plug on Evans.

Sophomore quarterback Matt Lezotte's 15-yard touchdown pass to Larry Hudson just inside the right pylon pulled the Patriots to within one point of the Knights with 16 ticks remaining on the game clock. Gerald Barnes, in his first game as Westside's head coach, didn't want overtime on an opponents field.

He called for a two-point conversion. When Sam McElreath hauled in Lezotte's pass, the Patriots completed a dramatic 18-17 win. Lezotte said he believed the team could mount a comeback when they took over on their own 32 with 3:11 left in the fourth quarter.

"We were thinking we didn't want it (their opening game) to end with a loss," Lezotte said. "We went out there and handed it to them."

If Lezotte continues to play the way he did Friday night, Patriot fans won't miss last year's star quarterback, Nick Kearns. Lezotte completed 13-of-18 passes for 164 yards. On the game-winning drive, Westside's signal caller six passes for 42 yards.

The game started 20 minutes late but it was Lezotte who lit up the night. He said the team didn't feel like an underdog heading into the game, they just wanted to stick to their game plan.

"We just thought we could come in here to do whatever we could to win," he said.

Evans coach Jim Connor said his team accomplished what they set out to do until that final drive.

"We thought we had the game in control until they threw the ball in (the end zone)," Connor said. "It came to one play and they made it."