LEXINGTON – Knob Noster used a gutsy performance Friday night, Oct. 4, to secure a 22-14 road conference win over Lexington.
“That was a big win for our football program, for our football team, that was a big step in the right direction of where we are trying to get to,” Knob Noster coach Rich Johnson said.
Knob Noster (6-0, 2-0 MRVC East) had not beaten Lexington since Sept. 28, 2012. Knob Noster won that game 27-14.
“It has been a long stretch since we have beat Lexington and I felt like we had the kids this year to do it,” Johnson said.
Lexington was in place to keep it that way seconds into the fourth quarter when the Minutemen held Knob Noster on fourth and goal at the one and turned around to score on the following possession.
Blake Dickmeyer gave the home squad a 14-8 lead with 10 minutes, 52 seconds left in the game.
The Panthers kept it a six-point game as the two-point conversion failed.
Knob Noster was unable to respond and turned the ball over on downs with 6:52 remaining.
Jadis Williams used the next Lexington drive to redeem himself after being held out of the end zone just a couple drives earlier.
Williams stood Lexington quarterback Johnathan Taylor up in the backfield, stripped the ball from quarterback and returned it nearly 60 yards to level the score at 14-14.
“Jadis is Jadis,” Johnson said. “He has so much ability. Jadis can do whatever Jadis wants to do, we just have to make sure he is doing what he needs to do. Man, he made a heck of a play.”
The Minutemen held tough on the two-point conversion and left the game level with 4:16 left to play.
Knob Noster had used a nearly seven minute drive to score the first points of the game but was given just two minutes to keep the game from going to overtime as the defense forced a turnover on downs at its own 34.
With 37 seconds left to play, the Panthers regained their first lead since Lexington scored to even the game with 28 seconds left in the first half.
The Minutemen appeared to have Iverson Sirom tackled in the backfield, but the junior had other plans.
Sirom kept his footing, placed his hand in the ground, pivoted and went the other way.
He out-sprinted the Lexington defense back across the field and found the corner of the end zone for six.
“It’s being an athlete and having the ‘want to’ to go out there like nobody is going to stop you,” Johnson said. “That is why I told them we have to be mean as junkyard dogs. We have to be hungry. I said that is why the dogs are in the junkyard because it is hungry and nobody wants to live in the junkyard. So I said you have to be as hungry as that and you have to go out and do it and it showed at the end of the game how hungry we were.”
Williams punched in the two-point conversion to set the final score at 22-14 Knob Noster.
Lexington went to the air during its final drive of the night.
On the second play of Lexington’s possession out of the Knob Noster touchdown, Knob Noster’s Wyatt Schreiner found himself on the other end of a Taylor pass.
Schreiner initially got up and celebrated the interception but the officials gave no signal as to what the call was.
“It was an awesome play to give us an opportunity to win the game,” Johnson said.
The officials met and pointed in Knob Noster’s direction, confirming the Schreiner interception to seal the game.
“That’s the key, to stay in the game and have a chance to win it at the end and that is what we did,” Johnson said. “That is what good football teams do.”
The right to sit alone atop the Missouri River Valley Conference East standings is up for grabs in week seven as Higginsville (4-2, 2-0) visits Knob Noster.
Higginsville is coming off a 42-14 win over Holden in week six.
Knob Noster has not beaten Higginsville since at least 2010, the furthest back the Missouri State High School Activities Association has recorded on its website.
The clash of the two top dogs in the conference is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in Knob Noster for senior night.