Apollo completed a late defensive stand when Kyler Rutter intercepted a pass by Meade County’s Kyle Parker in the waning moments, and the Eagles held off the Green Wave 17-14 in a riveting, hard-hitting high school football game Friday night at Eagle Stadium.
It marked the team’s first victory in their new stadium, and it was also the first win at Apollo for new head coach John Edge, who was a happy man afterward.
“I’m very proud of our guys,” Edge said. “Kyler made a great, great play for us at the end of the game. I thought we showed some mettle as a football team by holding them out of there late.
“Meade County is always strong, physical, and well-coached, and I consider this a very good victory. They made some plays, and we made some plays — it was a see-saw battle all the way.”
The Eagles (1-1) struck first, marching from their own 28-yard line to the Meade 15 before settling for a 32-yard field goal by Harrison Bowman to make it 3-0.
The Green Wave (1-1) bounced right back, driving 57 yards in only six plays to take the lead. JT Godsey scored on a 12-yard run and Parker hooked up with Levi Stull on a 2-point conversion pass to push Meade in front 8-3 at 11:09 of the second quarter.
Apollo responded on its ensuing possession, getting a 38-yard touchdown run from quarterback Damian Lovinsky and a 2-point conversion pass from Lovinsky to Harold Patterson to go on top 11-8 with 10 minutes to play in the first half.
Meade threatened again late in the half, but Parker was picked off by the Eagles’ Jarrod Gray at the Green Wave 20-yard line.
Late in the third period, Stull broke loose for a 31-yard TD scamper to push the visitors in front 14-11.
Apollo responded, though, by driving 58 yards in 12 plays — scoring the go-ahead touchdown on a 2-yard run by Patterson with 9:47 remaining in the game.
The Eagles turned away another Meade threat midway through the fourth quarter when Mykel Whitney intercepted a Parker pass.
On their ensuing possession, however, Apollo dared to go for it on 4th-and-1 from its own 20-yard line, and the Green Wave held the Eagles on downs — taking over at the 19 with 5:15 to play.
That set the stage for Rutter’s late-game heroics.
“We’re sort of bend-but-don’t break on defense,” Edge said. “I was proud of the way we stepped up there at the end with the game on the line — we can build on that.”
Apollo finished with 229 yards of total offense and was led by Patterson, who carried 26 times for 125 yards. Lovinsky added 68 yards on 14 carries and was 11-of-18 through the air for 72 yards.
Meade produced 282 yards of total offense.
The Eagles step into Class 6-A district play next Friday with a visit to McCracken County.
MEADE COUNTY8-0-6-0 — 14
APOLLO3-8-0-6 — 17
A-Bowman 32 FG
M-Godsey 12 run (Stull pass from Parker)
A-Lovinsky 38 run (Patterson pass from Lovinsky)
M-Stull 31 run (pass failed)
A-Patterson 2 run (kick failed)