GARRETT — On senior night it was a freshman that came up big for the Railroaders as they pulled out a 28-21 win in the closing seconds of Friday night’s NECC matchup against Central Noble.
Freshman quarterback Aaden Lytle took the football 1-yard on a quarterback sneak with 15.5 seconds remaining to give the Railroaders the lead at 27-21 lead, Zac Klopfenstein hit the extra point to make it 28-21.
Coach Chris DePew complimented his two senior running backs Kolin Cope and Seth VanWagner after the game.
“It is awesome to have seniors come up big on senior night,” he said. “Our two senior running backs came up big. They got off the ball and ran behind their pads. You want to win on senior night for those guys, but you want to see them be successful.”
The Railroaders put the game on the back of Cope in the second quarter as they continued to jam the ball down the center of the Central Noble defense. Cope ended the game with 189 yards on 28 plays and two touchdowns.
VanWagner had 74 yards on 15 carries and scored the Railroaders' other touchdown.
The Railroaders got on the scoreboard first on a 1-yard run from Cope at the 7:42 mark of the first quarter. The play was set up off of a 23-yard run the play before. Cope’s second touchdown of the game came at the 2:09 mark of the third quarter on a 3-yard run by Cope.
VanWagner found the end zone at the 3:04 mark of the second quarter on a 11-yard run.
The Railroader defense held the Cougars’ offense in check for most of the night, as the Cougars took advantage of several big plays to score their touchdowns.
Senior Clayton Kirkpatrick scored two touchdowns on two 80-yard runs as he racked up 170 yards on the night on 5 carries.
Junior Ashton Smith scored the Cougars’ only other touchdown in the second quarter on a 14-yard run. Smith had 57 yards for the game.
The Railroader defense held the Cougars scoreless in the second half and held junior running back Will Hoover to only 32 rushing yards on the night.
The Garrett Railroaders will now begin preparing for Jimtown Jimmies who come to town next week in the opening round of sectionals. This will be the fourth meeting of the two teams in sectionals in the last five years. The Railroaders got the best of the Jimmies in 2015 and 2016 in Garrett and lost last year at Jimtown.
“We are not unfamiliar with each other,” DePew said.
Although he admitted that he doesn’t know much about this year’s team.
“They are a heavy run team, which is what we are generally better at defending,” DePew said. “I am hoping these guys come up big next week, we have played well at home against them."