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Wayne County managed to have a 14-7 half-time lead hold up and downed the visiting Taylor County Cardinals 14-7 on Thursday night in Monticello.
The Cardinals failed to gain the outright No. 2 seed in Class 3A, District 5 play and probably also lost a home play-off game when post-season play begins on Friday, Nov. 6.
Coach Rodney Turpin's team (4-6) took a 7-6 lead in the second quarter when Cody Newton tallied from a yard out and Tim Giessler added the extra-point kick.
Wayne County (3-6) had grabbed a 6-0 first-period lead when Zach Stephenson connected with fellow senior Eric Ruhle on a 36-yard pass play.
Taylor County's drive started late in the first frame with the big Cardinal plays coming on completions from Lance Turpin to Ben Hollingsworth, Blake Dudgeon and Cody Van Meter around nice running gains by Newton and Levi Smith.
Wayne County took advantage of a TCHS personal foul to regain the lead on Stephenson's 10-yard TD pass to Austin Shearer and Stephenson's conversion pass to Ryan Hopper.
Stephenson's pass to Dustin Dodd for 17 yards and D.J. Hall's 19-yard run set up what proved to be Wayne County's winning score.
Dudgeon returned the second-half kick-off to the Wayne County 1-yard line, but a holding penalty made Taylor County start on the Wayne County 35-yard line and the drive ended when Giessler's 25-yard field goal was blocked.
Taylor County drove to the Wayne County 37 late in the third, but lost 34 yards on three plays (illegal block, reverse and sack) and saw the drive thwarted and was forced to punt.
Taylor County had one last excellent chance to tie the game in the fourth quarter.
After successive tackles for loss by nose tackle Bronson Ingram, Taylor County started on the Wayne County 28-yard line with 4:20 left in regulation.
However, the home squad stopped Dillain Thompson on fourth and seven on the 19-yard line and took over and ran out the clock with D.J. Hall gaining several of his game-high 106 rushing yards.
Taylor County is off this week before learning its play-off site and opponent for Friday, Nov. 6.