LIVINGSTON- Hundreds of Lion fans came to Lion stadium Saturday night for a tailgate party, the Livingston Lions came to win a football game.Livingston used a mighty second half defensive effort to outlast the Ozen Panthers 41-28.
With the game tied at 28 at the half the Lions defense held Ozen scoreless in the second half and the offense managed two second half scores for the final margin of victory.
Soon after the PA announcer completed the pre game ceremonies retiring former Lion athlete and NFL MVP Mark Moseley’s jersey the fireworks began. Ozen struck first taking advantage of a Lion fumble setting up an 18 yd scoring toss to take a 7-0 lead at the 3:30 mark of the first quarter. The lead didn’t last long as Keaton Parker fielded the ensuing kickoff and sprinted 90 yds for the touchdown to tie the score at 7 with 3:14 remaining in the first quarter. Minutes later Livingston took their first lead of the game as Josh Henderson connected with Brandon Prescot on an 18 yd scoring strike, the PAT bounced of the left upright leaving score 13-7 with 11:05 to play in the second quarter. Ozen took over from there scoring 21 unanswered points capped off by a 50 yd punt return that was scooped up off the turf and returned for the score as the Lion players seemed to be waiting for ball to be blown dead.
The never say die Lions kept coming back trailing by 15 with 2:53 to go before the half Dustin Harris rolled to his right and lofted perfect strike to Keaton Parker who hauled in the 53 yd scoring pass between two Panther defenders.
Nixon converted on the two point conversion bulling his was into end zone to bring the Lions within 7 with under three minutes to go before the half.
The Lions were not done yet as Dustin Harris stepped in front of an Ozen receiver picking off the pass and racing 50 yds for the score, the PAT was good and the two teams headed to the locker room knotted at 28.
The second half of play was dominated by the Lions offensive line as they wore down the Panthers and paved the way for Jordon Nixon who finished the game with 108 yards and touchdown.
Nixon carried the Lions to the brink and Undra Hollman closed the deal with a 5 yd run with 8:42 left in the third quarter. The PAT was wide left leaving the Lions clinging to a six point lead 34-28.
With Ricky Wagner and Brandon McGowen anchoring the middle of the Lion defensive line a six point lead was all the Lion defense needed. With the Lion defense standing firm and forcing the Panthers to turn it over on downs deep in their own territory late in the fourth quarter.Brandon McGowen took the handoff from Henderson and plunged over the right side for a 1 yd touchdown run and final Lion touchdown of the night making the final score 41-28.
The Lions improved their record to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in district play.
Next Friday night the Lions face another huge challenge as they travel to Port Neches Groves to battle the Indians on the reservation. This will be the Indians first game in their new 10 million dollar stadium and you know the tribe will be playing hard to defend their new home stadium.
In case you have never been to a football game on the reservation let me tell you the Lions will not only be battling a good football team but a huge home crowd and a very loud band as well. I call on every able bodied man, woman, and child to travel to the golden triangle next Friday night and support these Lions.