Thursday, December 7, 2023

Lightning delays second half of Laney football game until Labor Day

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WILMINGTON – Though intentions were to get week three of the high school football schedule played ahead of the impending arrival of Hurricane Hermine, lightning in the distance still put a damper on things at Holliday Stadium Thursday.  The Laney (1-1) versus Lee County (2-0) game was postponed until 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 5.

With Laney trailing 16-0, the contest will resume with 11:57 to play in the third quarter. The rescheduling may have came at a good time for the Bucs, who picked up just one first down and 38 yards of total offense during the opening half. In five possessions, Laney had four punts and one turnover on downs.

Laney punter James Hoffman had a busy first half.
Laney punter James Hoffman had a busy first half.

Good field position during the opening 24 minutes gave Lee County plenty of opportunities and running back Jahmir Smith capitalized with a pair of touchdown runs.

Leading 7-0 after Smith found the end zone midway through the first quarter, a botched punt by Laney gave the Yellow Jackets the ball on the Bucs’ 30-yard line. Four plays later, Smith punched in his second score from one yard out with 8:35 remaining in the second period. A 33-yard field goal by Trey Underwood as time expired at the half gave the Yellow Jackets a 16-0 advantage.

There were a several scratch-your-head moments for the referees during the course of the night. From arriving some 20 minutes after the scheduled start time to a miscall on the opening kickoff, the zebras had a long night and only one half of football was played. Laney should have had a successful surprise onside kick recovery to open the game. Despite no receiver being in position to coral the onside attempt, a kick catch interference flag was thrown giving the ball back to Lee County.

The lightning delay was the cherry on top. After sending both teams back to the locker room just as the second half got underway, flashes in the sky pushed back the restart 30 minutes and each subsequent flash added an additional half hour delay. According to WWAY News Channel 3 Meteorologist Scott Deen, the closest lightning was some 40 miles away from Laney High School. The referee would not let the game resume and Laney Athletics Director Fred Lynch indicated the decision was based on the sight of lightning not the distance of the potential strikes.

After a lengthy discussion between athletic officials at both schools, a decision was made to resume play at 5 p.m. on Labor Day. When the game restarts, Laney will have possession on their own 43 yard line with just three seconds gone by in the third quarter.

 Box score

Lee County    6-10-

Laney             0-0-

 Scoring Summary

First Quarter

Lee County- Jahmir Smith, 7 yard run, (PAT, no good) 5:10


Second Quarter

Lee County- Jahmir Smith, 1 yard run, (PAT, Trey Underwood), 8:35

Lee County- Trey Underwood, 33 yard field goal, :00



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