LEBANON – Down 13-7 at intermission, Lebanon played inspired football in the final 24 minutes on the way to a 21-20 victory over Hendersonville Friday at Tribble Field / Watkins Stadium.
With a MyTV30 regional television audience watching, the Commandos broke a 7-7 tie and led at half thanks to a 22-yard touchdown pass from Drew Hohenbrink to Issiah Chandler with 00:07 remaining in the second quarter. But Andrew Martin's PAT try sailed wide left for just a 13-7 advantage.
The Blue Devils opened the third quarter with a three-play, 65-yard touchdown drive as junior tailback Dequantay Shannon hammered the Hendersonville interior with runs of 7, 5 and 53 yards to take a 14-13 lead with 10:52 left in the period.
Some six minutes later the Commandos responded with a 45-yard run on the trap by Keion Stafford to end a four-play, 62-yard drive and took a 20-14 lead with 4:17 remaining in the third quarter.
Midway through the fourth, Lebanon linebacker Daniel Davila stepped in front of a Hohenbrink aerial at midfield and returned the pick some 50 yards down to the Hendersonville 20.
It took seven plays for the Blue Devils to score as back-up quarterback Eli Clemmons found tight end Will Seats all along in the back of the end zone on a fourth and goal from the two for the eventual game winner.
On the ensuing possession, Hendersonville converted a third and long as Hohenbrink connected with Chandler for a 55-yard bomb deep in Lebanon territory.
Two plays later, a big gainer on a Jet Sweep by Logan Spurrier was nullified by an illegal peel-back block.
Facing a fourth and long, Hohenbrink's desperation pass was intercepted by Lebanon's Polo Phillips who returned the ball 34 yards out near midfield.
“At halftime, I told this football they were facing the most important 24 minutes of their football careers,” said LHS coach Chuck Gentry. “I challenged out kids, 'who are we', because I didn't know.
We've got a little heart in us and we've got some Blue Devil pride in us.”
Stafford was brilliant in the loss, gaining 111 yards on 12 carries and scoring a touchdown.
Hohenbrink finished 11-of-18 passing for 141 yards and a touchdown. He was picked off twice.
Chandler paced the receiving corps with seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Linebacker J.D. Jordan intercepted a Lebanon pass.
Now 2-3 overall following consecutive one-point losses, the Commandos slipped to 1-1 in Region 4, 6A headed into a Friday, Sept. 27 home game versus Independence.
Indy will come in 4-1 following a 28-27 victory over Franklin.
Lebanon,( 3-2,1-1) will entertain Beech Friday.