No. 12, Kade Burman, sees the ball coming his way and deflected it, then grapped it out of the air and returned it to the 17 yards to the Bronco 20 yard line.
An Old Nemesis Pays a Visit...
What is it about the Dayton Broncos? Is it the Broncos? Or is it just us? Are the Dayton Broncos so good that we can't beat 'em? Is it just us (the Livingston Lions) thinking we can't beat the Broncos because we've lost to Dayton so many times? Even a couple of years ago in the playoffs when Antonio White made a spectacular touchdown catch in the last 2 minutes of the game to give Livingston the lead, it was like the gods of high school football intervened just so we could watch in agony as Dayton put a dagger in our hearts with only 8 seconds remaining.
Nemesis[ˈnɛmɪsɪs] 1. a source of harm or ruin, 2. an opponent that can't be beaten or overcome
A Very Ugly Game
Last night's game got out of hand several times. In the first half, Dayton committed several penalties of the 15 yard variety. It got so crazy, that there was even a 30 yard penalty against Dayton when they committed 2 personal fouls in one play. Honestly, I've never seen a 30 yard penalty dished out by refs before in any game (not counting pass interferences). In the second half, the Lions committed their own share of face masks and personal fouls. Dayton scored two touchdowns in the first half to go into the locker room with a 14 to 0 halftime lead. Honestly, at that point, I figured, a 14 point deficit against the mighty Broncos would be a bridge too far for our Lions, and ultimately, it was. But the game did get interesting.
Lion Defense Was Our Better Offense
It would be amazing if we could get our offense to be a little more productive. Imagine how good the Lions would be if their offense played as good as their defense. There's 2 men this year that are really standing out in these first 2 games of this young season: Kade Burman and Garrett Green. The Lions' first touchdown of the evening was set up by Kade Burman when he intercepted a pass at the 37 yardline that he deflected and returned it to the 20. On the next play, Garett Green ran for a touchdown on a reverse. Later in the game, Green leaped high into the air to make a dazzling interception and return the ball 95 yards for a touchdown. After these 2 TDs, it got interesting because we were in striking distance of tying the game (and who knows what could happen then) but just like against College Park the week before, everytime we got close, they'd do something to keep the game out of our reach (like a special teams break down in which the Broncos returned a kick off all the way). Burman also got his hand on a Dayton field goal attempt that forced the ball to go wide right. Green and Burman were almost a constant problem for the Broncos. Burman played a whale of a game. I don't know how many tackles Burman registered, but he was almost constantly in the mix. Green (a senior) just came out of nowhere and is shining brightly both offensively and defensively for the Lions. (See the highlight reel. Burman is no. 12 and Green is no. 15).
In the End, Dayton Beats Us Again
By the end of the game, it was Dayton 28, Livingston 13. In all fairness to the Lions, last week they played a 5A playoff team, followed by the Broncos. That's two exceptional teams. I believe the Lions were capable of beating both of them. As good as our defense plays, the Broncos did burn our secondary several times on long pass plays, so the secondary is going to need a little tweaking. Our offense just couldn't seem to get much going. We didn't have our offensive star (Chevoski Collins). Collins was letting his knee heal from a mild injury last week. The Broncos pretty much contained our running backs which are historically the bread and butter of a Randy Rowe coached team. It appeared to me that the Lions did pass a little more this game. Runnning the ball is the single most important fundamental thing an offense can establish, but to keep a defense honest, an offense must be able to throw the ball. The Lions did complete a few passes last night, but it appears to this reporter, that the Lion passing game still has a lot of work to do.
No Need to Panic Just Yet
These first three games are really just tune up games, and the Lions do need to tune up. The games really count when district play begins. I am an optimistic guy (although many readers would probably dispute that claim), and I believe the 2012 Livingston Lions will do well in district. I believe that these same Lions will make the playoffs this year (Okay, that's as far as I'm going on my predictions at this point). I HOPE that when the Lions do make the playoffs, that we meet Dayton. I believe that the Lions can, and, if given the chance, will beat Dayton. Next week the Lions have a bye so that gives them a chance to heal their bumps and bruises before playing Silsbee in 2 weeks. Fasten your seatbelts folks!
Willie P. Openshaw, Editor
Major athleticism: Garrett Green leaps high in the air to make a spectacular interception then he...
...scrambled through heavy traffic, then he...
...sprinted down the sideline to complete a 95 yard interception return for a Lion TD.
Kade Burman (no. 12) is also an athletic leaper. Burman got a hand on this field goal attempt causing the ball to sail wide right.
The Broncos have their own leapers as this Lion pass attempt was picked off.
Quarterback Tyler Napier attempts a pass under heavy Bronco pressure.
Senior linebacker Evan Stafford makes a beautiful open field tackle.
Our best offensive weapon was on the sidelines resting his right knee.
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