LEXINGTON - Very figuratively and perhaps literally, the Bryan Station Defenders eluded the grasp of yet another loss to the Scott County Cardinals on Friday night.
Facing fourth down on what could have been their final play of the night, Bryan Station quarterback Trenton Cutwright avoided two sack attempts and escaped for a go-ahead 25-yard touchdown run to help the Defenders rally past the Cardinals, 25-21.
It is Bryan Station's first win over the visiting Cardinals since 2014.
"He's a young quarterback, and sometimes when he's gets people downfield, he loses track of what's around him. So I just sped his clock up and told him if you don't like it (protection), you need to go -- and he went," said Bryan Station coach Phillip Hawkins. "It's funny how a kid can make some mistakes and then when a game for you."
Not so funny to Scott County was the penalty -- the Cardinals' seventh and final of the night -- that helped keep the Defenders' chance to win the game alive.
"We needed to convert right here on fourth-and-1 and we jumped offside,and we needed to get him wrapped up when we had him sacked right there," said Scott County coach Jim McKee. "We needed to not turn the ball over. So there's a bunch of things we could have done differently.
"But it was a great game between two great teams. I'm very proud of our kids, because I thought they played their absolute tails off."
It was just Scott County's second loss to Bryan Station in 23 seasons.
"2014 and 1999, I did my research when I took this job. This is one of the hurdles I need to get the program over. And we jumped over it," Hawkins said. "We almost did last year, and this year we scrapped one out."
Hawkins added that he knew McKee's young Cardinals weren't going to "just come in here and lay down."
"He's such a good friend of mine and he's a great coach and we've known each other for 30 years," Hawkins said. "(To beat them) you have to outsmart Jim McKee."
Despite trailing 12-7 at halftime, Scott County (1-2) to have gained a bit of momentum with two big plays in the third quarter.
Sophomore Danny Armstrong's interception in Defenders territory set up a 7-yard touchdown run by sophomore Thomas Feickert, who found the end zone for the second straight game.
Then senior Jeremy Hamilton came down with a jump ball in the end zone for a 26-yard scoring strike from freshman quarterback Andrew Hickey. It was Hickey's second straight game with a touchdown pass and Hamilton's third consecutive game with a score.
Hamilton's touchdown, combined with the third of three successful extra-point attempts from senior kicker Jacob Bange, was big at the time, because it made the score a two-possession spread at 21-12.
"It was a great game between two good teams," said McKee. "I think they'll be 9-1, and if one or two plays had gone the other way, we would have won."
Scott County will look to rebound next week in a home showdown with Paul Dunbar (1-3), which dropped a 56-13 decision Friday to powerhouse Frederick Douglass.
"We fought as much we we could. We could have fought a little more, but it is what it is," said Scott County senior running back Montago Jones, whose 3-yard touchdown run capped off a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive on the game's opening possession. "We just have to get ready for next week. That's all we can do."