It came down to overtime Friday night and Logan Elm executed when it mattered to open the season with a 28-27 win over visiting Zane Trace.
The game was knotted up at 21-21 as regulation came to an end.
The Braves won the coin toss heading into overtime and chose to go second.
Zane Trace ran four plays before quarterback Ben Nichols ran the last six yards for a touchdown. The Pioneers had problems with the PAT snap which left the door open for the Braves.
To start out its part of overtime, Logan Elm ran a reverse with Ethan Smith that gained nine yards and then Blayton Reid capped a 100-yard night going the final 11 yards for the score.
The Braves’ PAT squad, which had a problem handling the snap earlier in the game, executed the play to perfection in OT and Jude Braun’s kick split the uprights to propel his team to the win.
“Coach Holbert is always asking what you’re going to do in the face of adversity and that’s what we stepped up and did — we played hard and we had to play until the end, and that’s what we did,” said Reid who ended the night with 106 yards rushing and 50 receiving.
“I knew all night I’d been stretching it out too much, I knew I had to cut up because they were getting out there too fast,” he said of the final touchdown, “so I was waiting and saw the lane, cut up field and ran hard.”
“Blayton Reid is an absolute warrior — and they’re all wonderful kids — but he deserves all the credit that he gets. He works like crazy, he’s a great leader and he’s a great student in the classroom,” LE coach Terry Holbert said. “I’m just really happy for him.”
Logan Elm finished the night with 231 yards of offense.
Despite being down 7-0 in the first quarter, the Braves had a strong first half as they had 174 yards of offense while holding ZT to 86 yards. Logan Elm took a 14-7 lead into the locker room at halftime thanks to a 53-yard pass play from Garret Summers to Reid and 22-yard interception return for a touchdown by Romuald Weber.
The Summers to Reid passing TD came in a series where the Braves tried to shoot themselves in the foot with three different penalties on successive plays.
“Once we look at the film, there will be a ton of coaching points, a ton to learn from and a ton to grow from,” Holbert said. “But for a young football team to come out and get that win, I’m proud of our leaders, I’m proud of our guys and just really happy to get that ‘W’.”
ZT tied the game in the third with a 40-yard touchdown run by Blake Phillips.
After ZT fumbled a punt and Smith recovered, the Braves went back on top a few plays later on a 3-yard scoring run from Summers .
The Pioneers retied the game just before the end of the third quarter when Nichols kept the snap and ran 44 yards for a score.
Each teamed had three possessions in the fourth quarter but couldn’t sustain a drive, which sent the game to OT.
“Not to sound like it’s coach speak, but we preach it all the time and that’s responding to adversity,” Holbert said. “We were down a senior starter up front, we were down his backup up front, we were subbing in freshmen, had a couple guys go down during the course of the game but it’s that next man up mentality and I’m just so proud of their effort and they way they fought all the way to the end.”
The Braves head out to Westfall next Friday. The Mustangs fell 40-12 at Madison Plains in their opener.
Logan Elm 28, Zane Trace 27 OT
By Quarters 1 2 3 4 OT F
Zane Trace 7 0 14 0 6 27
Logan Elm 6 8 7 0 7 28
ZT — Daniel Barnhart 2 run (Noah Fetters kick), 6:20.
LE — Blayton Reid 53 pass from Garret Summers (kick failed), 0:24.
LE — Romuald Weber 22 interception return (Blayton Reid run), 7:27.
ZT — Blake Phillips 40 run (Noah Fetters kick), 6:35.
LE — Garret Summes 3 run (Jude Braun kick), 4:48.
ZT — Ben Nichols 44 run (Noah Fetters kick), 0:16.
ZT — Ben Nichols 6 run (kick failed).
LE — Blayton Reid 11 run (Jude Braun kick).
First downs 13 10
Rushing yards 48-265 34-136
Passing yards 33 95
Comp.-Att.-Int 5-10-1 6-15-0
Total yards 298 231
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-2
Penalties-Yards 4-35 9-55
Punts-Ave. 4-31 8-30
RUSHING – Zane Trace — Daniel Barnhart 12-89, Ben Nichols 21-104, Drew Lane 3-17, Donovan Palmer 8-14, Blake Phillips 4-41. Logan Elm — Blayton Reid 19-106, Garret Summers 13-10, Ethan Smith 2-20.
PASSING – Zane Trace — Ben Nichols 5-10-1-33. Logan Elm — Garret Summers 6-15-0-95.
RECEIVING – Zane Trace — Donovan Palmer 1-15, Blake Phillips 1-(-2), Corbett Britton 1-4, Carter Hill 1-8, Nalin Robinson 1-8. Logan Elm — Blayton Reid 2-50, Ethan Smith 2-24, Carson Summers 2-21.