DENHAM SPRINGS — Denham Springs needed just one more stop to preserve a 14-13 lead with nine seconds to play against District 4-5A foe Scotlandville.
The Yellow Jacket defense delivered big-time, turning back a two-point conversion attempt by the Hornets in a wild finish at Yellow Jacket Stadium on Friday night.
Denham Springs (5-2, 4-0) will visit nondistrict opponent University High next week before facing Zachary in a key district showdown.
Scotlandville (4-3, 2-2) stormed back from a 14-0 deficit in the fourth period. Quarterback Levi Lewis scored on a 1-yard run with three minutes to play, and then scored again on a 4-yard run to pull to within one point with nine seconds remaining in the game.
Coach Eric Randall didn’t hesitate to go for the win.
Lewis, a southpaw, was flushed out of the pocket by Denham’s hard-charging senior defensive back Luke Duplantis and scrambled to his left. He heaved a pass in the direction of receiver Kaleb Harmon, but the throw sailed over Harmon’s head.
Denham successfully fielded the second of two Scotlandville on-side kicks in the fourth quarter to seal the win
Lewis was 18-of-27 passing with 226 yards and one interception. Harmon finished the game with eight receptions for 79 yards in the losing effort. Receiver Justin Russell led the Hornets with 89 yards on six receptions.
Denham Springs was paced by Tyre Golmond, who had 96 yards and both of of the team’s TDs on 23 carries.
Scotlandville entered the game with a high-octane offense led by running back Delmas Holmes, who posted back-to-back 200-yard games coming into the contest. Denham’s defense held Holmes to 53 yards on 18 attempts.
Randall said he was impressed by his team’s comeback bid that fell just short.
“At Scotlandville, we don’t make excuses, but we just made a ton of mistakes tonight. We just didn’t execute, and they did, and that was the difference,” he said. “But there’s no quit in our team. It came down to one heck of a finish. I didn’t start sweating until the last 30 seconds.”
Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles said he had confidence his defense would meet the challenge of keeping the Hornets out of the end zone on the conversion attempt.
“The D-line is a part of our team that we hoped would have a good year, and they really played great tonight,” he said. “Our offense missed some chances to extend our lead in the second half, but the defense came through and buckled down and really got after them all night.
Denham’s defense bent but didn’t break on the game’s first possession, which saw the visitors march 15 plays to inside Denham’s 10-yard line.
Lewis was right on target as he completed four consecutive passes to three different receivers on the drive.
But the homestanding defense stiffened up in the red zone. Senior defensive linemen Darrell Washington and Seth Jacob stopped Lewis on fourth-and-goal from the 7-yard line, and the Jackets took possession.