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Hermes' 30-yard field goal as time expires lifts Byrd to 9-7 win over Natchitoches Central
October 4, 2019, 6:00 pm


Shawn White, Special to The Times



The Byrd Yellow Jackets earned their first win of the season with a 9-7 victory over the Natchitoches Central Chiefs at Lee Hedges Stadium on Thursday night.

A wild final minute led to a 30-yard field goal by Braydon Hermes at the gun, sending The Hive into a frenzy.

Byrd -- with no timeouts -- faced a fourth-and-21 from the Chiefs 45-yard line with less than 30 seconds remaining. Logan Pons handed the ball to Kellum Humphrey, who fired a 32-yard pass to William Berry to the Chiefs 13-yard line.

A spike with 2 seconds left set up Hermes' dramatics.

Venzell Thompson was the offensive leader for the Jackets with 91 yards for the night. Cameron Felt scored the only touchdown for the Yellow Jackets.

Yellow Jackets head coach Mike Suggs was happy for the win, but not pleased with how they got it.

“We never gave up and the kids competed, but it was ugly football," he said. "It was a bad football game. You got to call it what it is. I’m happy to get the win for the kids. I’m happy that we didn’t quit. I’m glad we executed the field goal and got the win, but it was ugly. It was ugly football.”

Said Humphry: “We’ve run the reverse in practice but never run it (in a game). I haven’t thrown a pass in like months. I used to be the quarterback. We drew it up in the huddle. I threw it up there and it was a duck but somehow William made an amazing catch.”

Berry was surrounded by defenders, His grab prevented an 0-5 start for Byrd.

“I ran a deep cross around and they had all three back there,” Berry said. “I knew if I was going to make this catch it was going to be contested. I saw (Humphrey) rolling out and make the reverse. It may not have been the best spiral but it gave us the first down. There were people behind me and it was like the ball was in the air for twenty seconds.   I had to high point the ball but knew I had the position and bring it down."

Byrd (1-4, 1-1) may have ended the drama for the night but Natchitoches Central (1-4, 0-2) started in the first half. Early in the second quarter the Chiefs stopped Byrd on its 3-yard line to take over on downs. Caylin Demars the broke off a 97-yard run to give the Chiefs the early 7-0 lead. According to Byrd radio announcer, Charlie Cavell, it was the longest touchdown run against Byrd in its 115-year history and broke a mark set in 1956.

An interception by Byrd’s Chris Grieder set up the Yellow Jackets on the Natchitoches Central 11 yard line. Cameron Felt finished the drive with a 2-yard run. A missed extra point left the Chiefs in the lead at 7-6 going into the dramatic fourth quarter.

Hermes didn't miss the last kick.

Byrd travels to Parkway next Friday. Natchitoches Central will face Southwood at Turpin Stadium.


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