Making his return to the high school he graduated from and coached at, St. Augustine coach Cyril Crutchfield came away victorious in a hard-fought 34-27 win over Covington on Friday night.

“I told my kids all week long that I was born and raised here and I know what type of product they (Covington) have out on the field,” he said. “They have a bunch of scrappy guys who are never going to quit and never going to give up. We were able to break out to an early quick lead, but credit Covington for coming back like they did.”

The Purple Knights (2-1) broke out to a 20-0 lead midway through the second quarter. On the first play from scrimmage, Justice McCoy hit Stanley Morgan for a 64-yard touchdown.

Playing with a broken toe, the star St. Augustine wide receiver finished with nine catches for 200 yards and a touchdown.

Trailing 20-0, Covington (1-1) began its comeback midway through the second quarter when quarterback Tyler Smith found Alonjai Earlycutt for an 18-yard touchdown reception.

Cordara Laurant intercept the ensuing McCoy pass on the next possession and took it back 68 yards for a touchdown.

After scoring on an 84-yard touchdown run to give his team a 27-20 lead only to see Covington tie the game back up at 27-27, junior running back Darryl Landry gave St. Augustine the lead again on a 22-yard touchdown run, his second of the game.

Replacing an injured Lanard Fournette in the backfield for St. Augustine, Landry finished with 189 yards rushing on 21 carries.

“I have to give a lot of credit to our offensive line up front,” Landry said. “The holes I was seeing were big all night long. I just tried to read the holes and hit them as fast as I could.

“We lost that early lead, but the coaching staff just kept stressing to us to stay positive and we did that. It was the difference in the game. We never believed even after blowing the lead that we were going to lose the game.”

Impressed with his junior tailback, Crutchfield said Landry is quickly earning playing time even when Fournette returns from injury.

“We are a banged-up football team, and we need players to step up,” he said. “It was a total team effort tonight.

“Darryl had a big game last week with over 100 yards rushing. He is coming into his zone. He has done a tremendous job and is a great little scat back for us. He makes plays, and if he continues to do that, then we are going to have to find a spot for him throughout the season.”

Up 14-0, McCoy connected with Jamal Pettigrew for a 35-yard touchdown to extend the Purple Knights’ lead to 20-0.

Smith tie the game midway through the second quarter on a 15-yard touchdown run.