Edwards County is officially out of the playoff hunt.
The Lions traveled to Eldorado Saturday afternoon, looking to ruin the Eagles Homecoming and keep their postseason hopes alive. The ECHS boys built a 20–6 advantage after three quarters of play, but the Eagles clawed their way back into the game, snatching a 21–20 victory away from the Lions.
Edwards County needed to win its final two games to earn the five wins necessary for the squad to make the playoffs. With a 3–5 record and only a visit from Johnston City remaining on the schedule, the Eldorado loss eliminated the red and black from playoff contention.
The Lions spent entirety of the first three periods playing ahead of the Saline County unit. They built a 13–0 advantage over the Eagles throughout most of the first half, with the Eagles getting on the scoreboard just before halftime to pull within a touchdown at 13–6.
Receiving the ball first to open the second half, Eldorado appeared to find its offensive groove, driving down to the Edwards County 4 yard line and looking to punch the ball into the end zone. The Lion defense came up big, however, stuffing the Eagles in the red zone and taking over possession on downs.
The ECHS offense would score again late in the third quarter, and end the frame recovering an Eldorado fumble, seeming to have all momentum on their side.
Eldorado used a balanced attack to cease control of the fourth and final stanza, scoring a touchdown and making a two point conversion to pull within six with just over eight minutes to play, 20–14. They scored once again with roughly three minutes remaining in the contest, making an extra point to assume a 21–20 lead.
A bad snap on fourth down with 1:37 left on the game clock ended any hope the Lions had of walking away with a victory.
Marcus Stennett paced the Edwards County offense with 117 yards passing and a touchdown on an 11–17 outing for a 64.7 percent completion percentage, while also leading the team in rushing with 69 yards and two scores on 15 rushes.
Jordon Brock was the senior quarterback’s favorite target on the day, racking up seven catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. Fellow senior Camden Cowger netted two catches for 24 yards, while Dylan Rhodes finished the day with a seven-yard reception.
Junior Ryan St. Ledger, who left the game in the first quarter with a dislocated elbow, had one catch for one yard. Prior to the injury, St. Ledger also had 53 yards rushing on just five touches.
Senior running back Eli Grimes had 31 yards on 11 carries, while classmate Keath Bateman netted four yards on his lone touch of the afternoon.
Kicker Zeke Roberts connected on a pair of extra points as well.
The Lions will close out their 2019 campaign when they host Johnston City Friday night at 7 p.m.