LEBANON, Va. — The Pioneers put a Hurd-ing on Tazewell.

Hard-running senior halfback Matt Hurd carried a whopping 32 times for 131 yards to help Lebanon control the tempo en route to a regular-season-ending 28-19 victory over luckless Tazewell Friday.

Lebanon (6-4) earned the right to play nearby Richlands in opening round Virginia High School League playoff action this coming week while the Bulldogs (5-5) must now travel to a site to be determined.

It is possible the THS gridders may play at either Union (Big Stone Gap) or travel to Marion, depending upon the results of other regional games.

Malik Davis teamed up with Corey Brewster for a dazzling 51-yard touchdown pass with 7:19 to go in the first quarter as the Dogs grabbed a 6-0 lead over the home team. A run for two failed, however.

Lebanon bounced back with two scores in the second quarter. Hurd, in a preview of the game plan, shouldered the load and capped an 11-play, 49-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge at the 11:28 mark of the half. Peyton Owens booted the first of his four PATs and Pioneers moved ahead 7-6 to take a lead they never lost.

Tazewell threatened to regain the advantage when Brewster intercepted a Ben Sexton pass near the goal line and returned the ball to the 40 with 4:15 left in the first half.

Sexton, however, returned the favor and picked off a Bulldog aerial two plays later to ignite a 42-yard march. Sexton himself would get the next score.

Just five seconds before halftime Sexton exploited a middle gap and pushed into the end zone for 18 yards and a six-pointer. Sexton twisted right and then lunged back over the goal to his left. Owens drilled the kick and LHS moved ahead 14-6.

Hurd got the next Lebanon touchdown on a 19-yard run with 3:10 to go in the third period to finish a 6-play, 67-yard drive. Owens kicked the extra point.

A key play was Sexton’s 23-yard pass completion down to the Bulldog 20 to Will Stamper on a third down-and-14 play.

Davis battled back with two dramatic running plays to pull Tazewell into contention again. The Tazewell senior bolted for 54 yards on two carries, the first for 17 and the next for 37, down to Lebanon’s 12.

Following a penalty which pushed the ball back past the 20, Nick Blankenship rolled off a 17-yard gain and the Dogs then scored when Davis plowed through from the one yard stripe in the closing seconds of the third stanza.

Once again, the run for two points was stopped short, making the score 21-12 after the nine-play, 65-yard drive.

Tazewell’s Hunter O’Quinn set up the next score with a fumble recovery on the 47. Davis hit Jesse Mountain with a 29-yard pass and an unsportsmanlike penalty gave THS a first down on the Pioneer 11. Davis scored the touchdown, racing untouched into the end zone.

Nick Barrett hammered the extra point kick home and the Dogs pulled to within two points, 21-19, with 7:55 to go.

Sexton punctuated the final scoring of the night with a 33-yard touchdown run at the 4:34 juncture of the fourth period. Owens was perfect again on his kick for the 28-19 edge. A late Tazewell fumble sealed the verdict.

Blankenship led Tazewell with 64 yards on nine carries. He finished the season with 985 yards rushing in a little over five full games. Davis rushed for 78 yards on 13 carries and had 107 yards passing.

Sexton finished with 75 yards on the ground and Brent Rasnake got 73. Lebanon led 312-253 in total yards and 16-10 in first downs. Tazewell was penalized five times for 50 yards and Lebanon drew four flags for 45 yards.

At Lebanon Middle School

Tazewell.......................6       0    6    7  —  19

Lebanon.......................0     14    7    7  —  28

First Quarter

T – Brewster, 51 pass from Davis (run failed) 7:19

Second Quarter

L – Hurd, 1 run (Owens kick) 11:28

L – Sexton, 18 run (Owens kick) 0:05

Third Quarter

L – Hurd, 19 run (Owens kick) 3:10

T – Davis, 1 run (run failed) 0:03

Fourth Quarter

T- Davis, 3 run (Barrett kick) 7:55

L – Sexton, 33 run (Owens kick) 4:34

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