Rotten’s INT preserves Patriot victory

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 22, 2011

OPELIKA – The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots held the Lee-Scott Warriors scoreless in their 6-0 victory at Jud Scott Field in Auburn on Friday night.

Pike’s senior running back Nick McLaughlin earned the game’s only score on a 5-yard touchdown run with 5:17 left to play in the third quarter. The touchdown run capped a five-play scoring drive by the Patriots, featuring runs of 21 and 51 yards by McLaughlin to set himself up for the score.

The second half started with Lee-Scott (6-3, 4-2) driving down the field to the Pike 16-yard line. The Warriors missed a 32-yard field goal attempt, which set up Pike’s scoring drive the next possession.

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The Patriots’ touchdown became the turning point of the game. Pike (5-4, 2-4) held Lee-Scott to just 66 second-half yards, and to just 37 yards after it took the lead on McLaughlin’s touchdown run.

McLaughlin finished with 127 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

The Patriots finished with 234 yards of total offense, while Lee-Scott ended the game with 183 total yards.

Both teams had their chances for more points in the game.

Late in the second quarter, Pike drove the ball to the Lee-Scott 5-yard line before quarterback Josh Starling’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Lee-Scott’s Holt Ingalls.

With 3:44 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Warriors had the ball on the Pike 20-yard line before Lee-Scott quarterback Jeremy Joseph was stopped short on a fourth-down run.

After forcing a punt, Lee-Scott had one more chance to score with 1:35 remaining in the game and the ball on their own 33-yard line. But Joseph’s first pass was intercepted by Pike’s Tyler Rotten, sealing the victory for the Patriots.

Ingalls led the Warriors with 59 yards on 15 carries to go along with his interception. Joseph was 6-for-17 for 95 yards. He also rushed for 12 yards.