It didn't feel good when it hit him.
But as the final minute ran off the clock, the ice water back that West Lauderdale coach Stan McCain received on the field Friday night, started feeling a whole lot better.
That's because the Knights snapped a two-game losing streak against county rival Southeast Lauderdale in Vimville, while extending McCain's run of success against the Tigers to 12 games. It was also McCain's first win since 2010.
"It didn't feel good at the time," he said. "But I did my Nick Saban impression and got right with it.
"It's been a long time for me man. But our team has had a tough road the past couple of years, and any time we come down here and beat Southeast, it feels good."
The win, like so many of McCain's before at West came behind a stout defense. Southeast, which fell to 1-3 with its third straight loss, totaled 364 yards of offense. But the Tigers picked up 164 of those on their three scoring plays.
"Outside of those couple of big plays, our defense played lights out," McCain said.
Trailing West, which improved to 1-3, 14-0 midway through the second quarter, the Tigers bounced back when Javaris Deloach broke free for a 71-yard touchdown run without being touched.
One quarter later, Southeast again pulled within a score of the Knights when quarterback Andrew Black connected with Damion Willis on a 69-yard touchdown throw. Black completed 13 of 28 passes for 207 yards, with Willis hauling in eight of those passes for 159 yards.
Deloach, who rushed for 169 yards on 25 carries, added a 24-yard run with 5:20 seconds remaining in the game to make it 41-19. Southeast as a team rushed for 157 yards on 35 attempts.
And while the Knights' defense kept Southeast at bay, the West offense started to find its rhythm in its new spread offense. Long a run-dominant team, the Knights totaled 385 yards of offense with 198 coming on the ground and 187 through the air.
"That's balanced and we like that," McCain said. "We were able to throw it with success but we never went away from the running game. I know there were times where it didn't look good, but we just stuck with it."
And spearheading that balanced attack was sophomore quarterback Tyler Turnage. Pressed into duty when senior Richard Thomas hurt his ankle against Neshoba Central on Aug. 24, Turnage has settled in.
"It just started two weeks ago but we're starting to get our groove going and we're ready," he said. "(The success passing) means a lot and it all goes back to our offensive line."
In addition to completing 8 of 13 passes for the 187 yards passing and two touchdowns, Turnage also led West with 85 yards rushing and two scores on 10 carries. One of those rushes was a 55-yard scoring run with 10 minutes left in the second quarter where he faked a handoff and turned to the left and had no Southeast defender around.
"I was just excited," Turnage said about the endless green in front of him on the touchdown scamper."
Added McCain: "He made a few miscues but all in all, he made some really nice reads on the zone read and he made a couple of great throws. We had a feeling some guys were going to be wide open and they were, and he put the ball where it needed to be and we made some big plays."
But maybe the biggest play from Turnage came moments after a big West blunder. With the clock running down in the first half, Turnage spiked the ball with 10.3 seconds left. However, since he was in the shotgun, it was an intentional grounding penalty, pushing the Knights out of field goal range.
So, now faced with a fourth-and-22, Turnage hit Shydai Lewis behind the Southeast defense for a 40-yard touchdown with three seconds left in the half and a 20-7 lead.
"We needed points and that was my fault for not knowing the dang rules with the shotgun snap stuff," McCain said. "I will be well-versed in that now. I'm not a shotgun guy, I'm just trying to learn how to be one.
"But we've got guys making plays and I thought our protection was good all night on throwing the ball."
Turnage also hit Lewis for a 51-yard scoring strike in the third quarter less than 30 seconds after Southeast closed to 20-13. And then early in the fourth quarter, West blocked a Southeast punt that Dami Roberts returned 15 yards for a score.
It didn't feel good when it hit him.
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