LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. -- Alex Maxwell stood in the end zone Friday night and reflected on a memorable start to his junior season.
As he wiped away the sweat, he couldn't help but smile.
The East Central quarterback earned MVP honors as he helped to rally the Trojans to a 15-14 win over host Lawrenceburg in the opening weekend of the 20th annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.
Maxwell was 11 of 16 passing for 179 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown.
"That was a heck of a game," Maxwell said. "It was really fun to play in. I am really proud of our offensive line -- they did an awesome job."
PHOTOS: Trojans sneak by Lawrenceburg
East Central (1-0), a 4A state semifinalist in 2016, had to replace up to five starters on the offensive line.
Most of those offensive linemen earned their first varsity experience Friday night in a game that was hyped for months in Dearborn County. Those juniors and sophomores held their own.
The Trojans will likely throw the ball more early this season, and that was evident Friday night when the team used some plays it was hoping to save for future games.
So when Lawrenceburg took a 14-3 lead with 6:34 left in the third quarter, the Trojans looked for Maxwell to step up. He did just that.
He earned 12 yards on a run on first down. Two plays later, he found senior Logan Storie across the middle for a 66-yard touchdown pass connection. Storie finished with two receptions for 107 yards.
"I just have to give it to Maxwell," said Storie, an all-state player in 2016. "He came up clutch -- throwing me the ball, scoring -- it was a good game."
Lawrenceburg had to punt on its next possession. With under four minutes left, Maxwell and Storie connected yet again -- this time for a 41-yard pass connection to put East Central near the red zone.
Maxwell's 14-yard run three plays later put the Trojans at the 7. He scored on a touchdown run to give the Trojans a 15-14 lead.
"Maxwell is a good leader," Storie said. "He has been trained to do this. He's stepping up and making big plays. We couldn't ask anymore from him."
East Central coach Justin Roden is very confident in his quarterback and wants the ball in his hands with under two minutes left.
"It's funny because I've been with some good quarterbacks before like (former UC standout) Dominick Goodman and some kids at Colerain who could just change the game," said Roden, a former Colerain assistant. "I think (Alex) is still a baby; he's a young junior. He's still getting his feet wet and still growing and getting stronger. He's a special kid."
Friday was the first matchup between the programs since 2012 at Lawrenceburg. The series moves to East Central in 2018 and will likely continue after that.
"This was one of the best atmospheres I've been able to play in," Maxwell said of the large crowd Friday night at Dick Meador Stadium.
East Central is ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press 4A state poll. Lawrenceburg (0-1), a state runner-up in 2016, is No. 5 in 3A.
"I think tonight really shows where we're at as a program and how far our kids have come," Lawrenceburg coach Ryan Knigga said. "Man, what a football game. That's what you sign up to do. I think what everybody saw tonight is why this game should be played. It was a great environment."
Lawrenceburg junior quarterback Austin Weimer earned MVP honors. He rushed for 91 yards including a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Lawrenceburg plays at Taylor (Ohio) at 7 p.m. Aug. 25. East Central plays host to Harrison (Ohio) the same night.
East Central 15, Lawrenceburg 14
East Central 0-3-0-12--15
EC-FG Browndyke 20
L-Privett 1 run (Seig kick)
L-Weimer 7 run (Seig kick)
EC-Storie 66 pass from Maxwel (run failed)
EC-Maxwell 7 run (run failed)