What was developing as a blowout between two city rivals turned into a nail-biter.
Robert E. Lee led 27-0 with a minute to go in the first half due mainly to the running combination of Terrence Powers and De'Willis Rivers, who combined for three first-half touchdowns.
Jeff Davis scored 24 straight points thanks to outstanding play from running back Sadan Knight, but the Vols could not complete the comeback as Lee survived, 30-24, in Class 6A, Region 3 football Friday night at Cramton Bowl.
"That's where it's kind of being in a situation, not able to handle adversity," Lee coach Tyrone Rogers said of his team allowing 24 straight before a Devon Detamphayvanh field goal with a minute to go broke the streak. "A young team not able to handle success, and that's one of the things that we got to continue to work on. Good teams finish. ... They go ahead and put you away."
Powers and Rivers formed a nice 1-2 running combination for Lee in the first half. At 5-foot-9 and 195 pounds, Powers provided the Generals with speed and agility, while the 5-foot-9, 225-pound Rivers brought raw force.
"Me and De'Will in the backfield, I feel like can't be stopped," said Powers, who had 20 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. Rivers had eight carries for 20 yards and two scores for Lee (2-7, 2-6 Class 6A, Region 3).
The duo combined for six rushes on the game's first seven plays, with Rivers scoring on an 18-yard sweep to the right to put Lee up 7-0.
Ane'Quay Pitts had an interception on the ensuing Jeff Davis possession, and two plays later it was Powers' turn to score as he ran for a 1-yard touchdown to put the Generals ahead 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
"We told them we were going to run the ball and we were going to give them the opportunity," Rogers said. "That was our game plan, to try to run the ball. We wanted them to go out with some type of success, and they did a good job that first half."
Knight was a one-man show for Jeff Davis (0-9, 0-7), with 21 carries for 107 yards, but he could not lead the Vols to victory single-handed. Knight rushed for a score and added an 89-yard touchdown reception on a broken play in the final minute of the first half to put Jeff Davis on the board at 27-8.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Volunteers forced a fumble and returned it for a touchdown to trim the lead to 27-16.
After a scoreless third quarter, Jeff Davis trapped Rivers in the end zone for a safety to make it 27-18. Knight scored on a seven-yard touchdown run two plays later to make it 27-24 with 9:56 left.
The Volunteers had the ball midway through the fourth but fumbled the snap on third down, and Lee took over.
Kendarius Manora found Niguel Sankey for an 18-yard gain on fourth-and-13 to keep Lee on the field in the final minutes.
"It's always a tough game to be able to play Jeff Davis," Rogers said. "Rivalry games are always big games, and (it's) always good to get a win, period."