Montevallo takes down Locust Fork

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

LOCUST FORK – The Montevallo Bulldogs got off on the right foot in 2015 with a thrilling overtime victory over Locust Fork on the road by a final of 28-27. After a season marked by an academic ineligibility fiasco that saw three of Montevallo’s early season wins get vacated, leading to an official record of 1-9 in 2014, this was a big win and a positive step for head coach Andrew Zow’s young program.

A pair of plays from two wide outs highlighted the first half. Senior Blake Smith took the opening kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown to give Montevallo a 7-0 lead off the bat. Then, a simple screen pass from quarterback Zac Oden to sophomore receiver Daqwan Bryant that turned into a 64-yard touchdown scamper with 48 seconds left in the opening quarter to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead.

The two teams were evenly matched most of the night, and the Bulldogs found themselves trailing by a touchdown in the fourth quarter until running back Undreaz Lilly ran one in from seven yards out to tie the game up at 21 apiece with just over nine minutes left in the last quarter of play. Lilly’s score and Diego Martinez’s consequential extra point were the last points of regulation, and the teams took the 21-21 tie into overtime.

Locust Fork scored first in overtime, but missed the extra point, giving the Bulldogs a sign of life. Montevallo got the ball down inside the five yard line on the ensuing series, and Lilly bulldozed his way in to tie the game at 27-27. Martinez subsequently help up under pressure, delivering the most pressure packed extra point of the young season, and Montevallo escaped with the win on the road, 28-27.

Oden went 10-18 for 143 yards and had one touchdown and a pick. Lilly carried the ball 10 times for 46 yards, and scored two touchdowns and Bryant caught four balls for 93 yards and a score, most of those yards coming on the 64-yard romp.

Jackson Hughes led the way for the Bulldogs defensively, recording 10 tackles with one sack, while Hunter Nabors added nine tackles and Lilly pitched in seven tackles as well, and also recorded a forced fumble and a blocked field goal.

Montevallo hosts Francis Marion on Aug. 28.