HEBRON ESTATES - It may have been the biggest play of the game but it will never make the box score.
And, in fact, most of the North Bullitt fans may have gone home happy Friday night with a 14-13 victory -- forgetting what happened with 8:12 left in the second quarter.
Already down 13-0, North Bullitt was facing another scoring opportunity off a turnover by the Shelby County Rockets.
With fourth-and-inches at the Eagle 10, quarterback Zach Shipley was intending to keep the ball and convert the first down.
But Travis Potts and Travis Downing had other ideas and the defensive players stuffed Shipley behind the line for a three-yard loss.
While the Eagles failed to convert on the drive and went into the locker room down 13-0, head coach Brett Newton certainly remembered the stop.
"That was certainly big," said Newton, whose team has now clinched the district title and a home playoff game in the first round with its 6-1 record and 2-0 in district play. "I told them at halftime that we could have gone down three touchdowns and that would have made it tough."
While the Eagle offense was having an off night, it was able to put together a pair of drives and convert a two-point conversion to pull out the Homecoming night victory.
"We had some distractions this week," Newton said of a tough week of practice. "But the players who were on the sidelines were focused. We just had a few key players out with injuries and, when you move people around, things happen."
On this particular night, those "things" included key fumbles and two major breakdowns in the punting game.
North Bullitt was poised to score on its first drive of the game but a fumble recovered by Chris Montfort ended the possession at the Rocket 2.
On its next possession, backup punter Derek Schweinhart's kick was blocked and then picked up by Zakk Bailey, who raced 43 yards for the touchdown with 3:17 left in the first quarter.
Stuart Orange's extra point made it 7-0.
On its next possession, quarterback Patrick Egnor handled the punting but he couldn't handle the snap and the Rockets took over at the Eagle 6. On the first play, Shipley took it into the end zone himself.
Potts made what turned out to be another key play when he busted through the middle of the line to block the extra point.
After the defense made the big stand in the second quarter, North Bullitt got the ball first in the third quarter and promptly marched 80 yards.
On third down from the Rocket 27, Todd Asbury broke through the line and got into the end zone with 8:25 left in the third quarter. Schweinhart never had a chance to kick the extra point as the snap was low.
As it did the entire night, the North Bullitt defense stood firm. On the night, Shelby County only had 93 total yards.
On the winning drive, North Bullitt had to survive a pair of fourth-down situations, including the touchdown play.
Starting on the Shelby 45, Asbury ran 10 yards for the initial first down and then had to get six inches to continue the drive.
On fourth-and-eight from the 20, Egnor found Asbury streaking down the left sideline. The pass was perfect for the touchdown with 4:55 left in the game.
Down 13-12, the decision was simple for Newton - go for two.
"We'd had trouble connecting," Newton said of the center to holder combination. "If we didn't make it, we still had a chance to hold and get another shot on a short clock."
A play they practice every day worked to perfection as Egnor drifted back and found Ryan Collins wide open in the end zone.
"I was going to catch the ball," said Collins, who filled in for injured Zack Foster on the play. "I was just waiting for the ball to get there."
Collins said the team never gave up despite not playing its best.
"We all know that every week that the next game is the biggest game of the season," said Collins.
Up 14-13, Shelby County got to the Eagle 47 before the drive stalled. North Bullitt ran out the clock for the victory.
"We've got some kids who are injured and that hurts," said Newton.
With Josh Exton out, Newton said that changes the special teams and the defense scheme. With Foster out, he said the team's emotional leader has to watch from the sidelines.
"But we found a way to win the game," said Newton, whose team is now 6-1.
In the past, the Eagles were not always able to overcome adversity. This season, Newton said the team never gives up and has found a way to come back.
Although the offense never seemed to get into any rhythm, it did account for 248 yards, including 218 on the ground. Asbury quietly led the team with 179 yards on 26 carries. For the year, Asbury has 1,188 yards and 15 rushing and two receiving touchdowns.
NEXT GAME - Ownership of the Bullitt Cup will be at stake on Friday night when district foe Bullitt East invades. Kickoff for Senior Night will be at 7:30 p.m. The Chargers are coming off an exciting 22-21 victory over Bullitt Central.