Happy Lion fans at the conclusion of a nail biter (Jake Dominy and Amber McCarthy)...
Cardiac Lions Come Out on Top of Nail Biter, LIVINGSTON, September 17, 2016 - WARNING: IF YOU'RE A LIVINGSTON LION FAN, AND A HEART PATIENT, THE LIONS COULD BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH. Case in point; on Friday night (September 16), the Lions hosted the Lumberton Raiders in the Lion's Den. In a near heart stopping game, and with the Lions losing with only 1:08 left in the game, AND, the Lions 63 yards away from a touchdown, Quarterback Cameron Merchant dropped back (amidst closing in defenders grabbing at him) and heaved a bomb down the middle of the field. Fortunately for the Lions, their fastest and bestest receiver (Number 17, Christian Mitchell) was on the receiving end of the bomb and caught it in full sprint. Mitchell cradled the ball and blew into the endzone to give the Lions a 4 point lead (counting the extra point) with 1 minute left on the clock. Okay! Great! Game over! Right? (Proverbial Wrong). Standing on the sideline, I looked at the scoreboard and got a sinking feeling when I saw a minute left on the clock. The capable Lumberton Raider offense had already shown several times that they could strike quickly. Following the ensuing kickoff, the Raiders dang near did it. They drove the ball into the red zone, but the Lion defensive pass rush and secondary came through when they were needed most. With the Raiders down by four points, and a fourth down, they threw an incomplete pass. WHEW! That was close! The Lion offense took over on downs, assumed victory formation and sat on the ball. All the Raiders could do was helplessly watch.
00:23 Raiders 3 yd td run with pat, Raiders 7, Lions 0
9:42 Hunter Bland 15 yd td run missed pat, Raiders 7, Lions 6
8:00 Raiders 3 yd td run with pat Raiders 14, Lions 6
00:29 Merchant 75 yd pass to Mitchell missed pat Raiders 14, Lions 2
5:01 Bland 2 yd td run missed pat Lions 18, Raiders 14
11:55 Cade Campbell 4 yd td run w pat Lions 25, Raiders 14
4:38 Lumberton 4 yd td run missed pat Lions 25, Raiders 20
1:49 Lumberton 50 yd td run w 2 pt cnv Raiders 28, Lions 25
1:08 Merchant 63 yd td pass to Mitchell w pat
FINAL SCORE: LIONS 32, RAIDERS 28
It's games like this that help a young team with a young head coach grow, mature, and ultimately get better. Trials by fire forge a stronger more confident team. I'm not ready to say that the Lions are ready to storm through the rest of the season and go deep into the playoffs, but on Friday night, the Lions grew up some more. I believe that after that gut check, the Lions have a decent shot at defeating their next opponent (PN-G on the road). The Lions do indeed have some good talent, so I'll mention a few of the play makers: Hunter Bland is not only an excellent running back but also plays decent at quarterback, Christian Mitchell the fastest Lion, exceptional receiver and pass defender constant threat, Cade Campbell, defensive back and wide receiver, BJ Mottu, defensive back and wide receiver, Morgen Garcia, menacing pass rusher, Will Broussard linebacker and wide receiver. I'm sure that there's more, but those are the players that come to mind. One thing I LOVE LOVE LOVE about these Livingston Lions is that they pass the ball. That's one of the nicest things about these Broussard coached Lions.
Okay, now is the time for the Lions to focus like a laser beam in practice. The next game promises to be a greater challenge as the Lions will travel to Port Neches-Groves on Friday to face the PN-G Indians.
Willie P. Openshaw, Editor
Editor's Note: This week we have many pictures displayed below that were submitted by Victor Lee Jones. Mr. Jones has been a volunteer fireman for Livingston for over 30 years, is the owner of Back Yard Oasis, and is a talented photographer. Also, and as always, Willie A. Openshaw (aka The Willster) put together another super highlight reel.
Hunter Bland has proven to be a very effective running back for the Lions.
Running Back, Hunter Bland also plays quarterback. Bland launches a pass in the first quarter.
Quarterback, Cameron Merchant runs for yardage.
Referees point first down for the Lions after the defense forced and recovered a fumble.
B.J. Mottu catches a long pass that set up the Lions in scoring position and lead to a Lion TD.
Wide receiver, Christian Mitchell also plays defensive back and is a threat on both sides of the ball.
Hunter Bland carries the rock for the Lions.
Mitchell often streteches the field and produces great stuff for the Lions (like this 75 yard TD pass in the second quarter).
J.D. Green gets run support as he looks for more yardage.
When the Lions needed it most, a beautiful gift dropped out of the sky...
...and into the waiting hands of Christian Mitchell. Mitchell streaked into the endzone and gave the Lions the points that they needed to win the game.
After a HUGE defensive stop by the Lion Defense, the Lion offense took over on downs and assumed the victory formation to close out the game.
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