Larkin rallies in 4th quarter to stun Elgin, become playoff eligible
The Town Jug is going to the west side of Elgin.
Larkin scored a touchdown and go-ahead 2-point conversion with 39 seconds left Friday to stun Elgin, 30-28, and take home the trophy.
As if that wasn't enough, the Royals are playoff eligible at 5-3.
The Royals roared back from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to secure the win.
Elgin controlled the game, leading 28-14 with 7 ½ minutes left after Clem McCullough's 75-yard touchdown run. But Larkin answered with a 50-yard drive capped by Dontrell Maxie's 3-yard touchdown run and 2-point conversion.
On the next series, Erick Myrick picked off McCullough's pass near midfield and returned it to the Maroons' 18. Six plays later, Maxie rolled around left end and bulled his way into the end zone. He then hit Myrick for the 2-point conversion to put the Royals ahead.
Timothy Scott's interception on the next play clinched it for Larkin.
Maxie ran for 89 yards and 3 touchdowns, and threw for 138 yards and another score.
For most of the game it was the Clem McCullough show. Elgin's quarterback ran for the long touchdown, threw two TD passes to Matthew Lawson, and picked off 3 passes on defense.
"It's a lot to process," said Myrick. "First it's the Jug, but then we just clinched going to the playoffs and that's lovely. We've been through a lot from last year to this year. We stepped it up. We made sure we came through and did what we had to do and got the work done."
The win felt like redemption of sorts for Maxie.
"Two years in a row we had lost to them and it was real hard for me," Maxie said. "It was two close games, and I had something to do with it both times. I love to see all the fans and we've got a chance to take Larkin back to the playoffs like they deserve."
Larkin never led until the final minute. Maxie's first scoring run tied it at 14, but Lawson's second touchdown catch and McCullough's long run put the Maroons up two scores in the Upstate Eight contest at Memorial Field.
"We were kind of on a Larkin timetable as opposed to a Coach Dietz and 5 o'clock kickoff timetable," said Larkin coach Grant Dietz. "It took us a little bit to get going and once we did I gave my guys chances to make plays. Dontrell is one of the best players in this conference and when the game is on the line, I don't want anybody else taking the ball except him, maybe five (Jamarion Stubbs) but I need to get my playmakers involved when the game is on the line because I trust them."
The Royals opted to go for 2-point conversions after losing their holder early in the game.
McCullough had to leave for a couple of plays after taking hard hits, and James Syrek stepped in and threw a scoring pass to Tayvion Mitchell. That pass put Elgin ahead 14-6 midway through the third quarter.