West Jessamine senior Robby Irgang may have worn the homecoming-king crown at halftime, but his crowning achievement came in the final minute of West’s 28-21 win over Montgomery County on Friday night.
With the game tied 21-21 and less than a minute remaining, Montgomery was marching toward what could have been a go-ahead field goal or touchdown. The Indians had already climbed out of a 14-point hole and rattled off 21 second-half points against the Colts. Montgomery completed an 11-yard pass to move the ball into West territory at the 41. The next strike through the air fell incomplete down the field.
On second down, the Colts were able to get some pressure on the quarterback, who threw under duress across the middle and Irgang jumped up to intercept the pass around the 40-yard line. With nothing but mud and a few defenders and blockers between him and the end zone, Irgang took the ball to pay dirt, giving West a 27-21 lead with 28 seconds remaining. The point after attempt was good and the Colts went up 28-21.
“(Irgang) made play after play after play,” West coach Graham Heasley said. “Once we got into our more normal part of the schedule ... Robby started to feel his way with our new defensive style and take over some games. Tonight he was unbelievably huge on both sides of the ball.”
After the kickoff, the Indians took over with 25 seconds remaining. West’s defense stepped up again, holding Montgomery on its final four plays of the game.
At halftime, it looked as if West might cruise to an easy win, already leading 14-0. The defense had forced three fumbles and an interception already.
The Colts’ first score came through the air. Following an Indians fumble, West took over at the Montgomery 39-yard line. Quarterback Ryan Horne hit Irgang on a short dump off on the left side. Irgang slipped a few tackles and stiff-armed a man to get into the end zone.
Irgang killed Montgomery’s next drive with an interception.
West went up 14-0 just before halftime thanks to another turnover. The Colts took over at the Montgomery 23 and powered the ball in with the running game. Horne carried the ball down to the 5-yard line, and Devin Taylor scored from the 1 two plays later.
Montgomery began to eat away at the lead with its first drive of the second half. The Indians made it 14-7 with 4:18 remaining in the third quarter and came back less than four minutes later to tie the game 14-14 thanks to a long pass play on the drive.
“(Montgomery) made a little adjustment in its running game ... and they just found a hole,” Heasley said. “They’re big and strong and a well-coached team. They made a good adjustment, and it took us a couple series to adjust.”
Following a fumble in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Montgomery took over at its own 42. The Indians picked up 31 yards on a pass play and the final 27 yards on a run to take a 21-14 lead with 9:43 remaining in the game.
Trailing for the first time all night, West got to work at its own 25. Another pass play from Horne to Irgang moved the ball into Montgomery territory at the 44.
West picked up two more first downs to get down to the 7-yard line. Taylor ended up scoring on a 2-yard run with 4:45 remaining in the game. Derrick Little’s point-after attempt tied the game 21-21.
Friday’s game was set to start at 7 p.m., but lightning in the area forced a delay, which pushed the start time to 7:20 p.m. Rain fell throughout the night, resulting in a muddy surface on the playing field.
“I think (the conditions) made them rethink throwing the ball,” Heasley said. “I think it played into our hands because of our style of play.”
The Colts have won two of their last three games and are at home again Friday to host Anderson County (5-1). Last season, the Bearcats beat West 72-18 and made it to the state championship against Bowling Green.
Heasley said his team still needs to work on ball security on offense and continue to run their style of offense and defense.