Closing Minutes: Lions were shooting to tie the game and were picked off (ending their bid for a playoff berth).
Lions Lose to Vidor, Will Miss Playoffs, VIDOR, November 6, 2011 - First of all, I want to personally thank Mr. Bruce Elster for a very nice Livingston Lions Shirt that fit me perfectly. Okay, now the Livingston Lions Varsity Football team:
A season that started off with such promise suddenly became mediocre down the stretch in district games for the Livingston Lions. The Lions started out destroying everyone in their path and the Lion Mobile was rolling fast. Then came that game against Nederland when they were beat by an honest to goodness good team who flexed their defensive muscle against the formidable Lion running game. As hard as that game was to deal with, there was a measure of consultation that came from the idea that Nederland was actually a good team. PNG was supposed to be a tough test and the Lions blew them out 42 to 28. Beaumont Central whose always tough got destroyed by the Lions 35 to 0. After losing to Nederland, the Lions regained their form and crushed Lumberton 49 to 7. Then it happened. Beaumont Ozen. I think it's the Ozen game that came back to bite the Lions in the butt. How in the world did the Lions lose to a team that was clearly inferior to them like Ozen. Correct me if I'm wrong, but had the Lions beat Ozen, then they wouldn't have been fighting for a playoff berth in their last game (against Vidor). The following week the Lions destroyed LC-M 35 to 0.
As things turned out, it was the last game of the season, against Vidor, and had the Lions won, they would've earned a playoff berth. Lose, and they had a verrrrry slim chance of making it into the post season. Well, the Lions lost. It's kinda bad, but the Lions didn't complete one single pass in the game against Vidor. Oh they attempted a few bombs but nothing was completed (except for an interception in the closing minutes). As I've said before, I'm no football expert (like a friend or two of mine seem to be), but the Lions passing game sucked (and I think that's such a vulgar word to use......but sometimes I guess a little vulgarity is appropriate).
The Lions actually played decent. Even though the Lions didn't complete a single pass, I can't fault quarterback Chevoski Collins. From what I could tell, Chevoski did what he was supposed to do, executed the plays he was given to execute, and ran like fox with its tail on fire. Collins poured his guts into this game, and left it all out on the field. I don't want to get anyone mad at me, so I guess I'll just leave it to the coaching staff to blame in this loss. I've said it before and I'll say it again, why don't the Lions polish up their passing game? The running game is superb, but when it's 3rd and long and you know the Lions are going to pass, is it just me, or is there anyone else out there who doesn't feel very confident in a Lion passing situation?
Towards the end of the game when the Lions were down by 7 (28 to 21), Quarterback Chevoski Collins, using what just seemed like will and determination broke some tackles on a quarterback keeper and ran 40 yards for a touchdown. Now the Lions were an easy extra point from tying up the game and have great chances in overtime to win and advance to the playoffs. No problem, right? Nope, the extra point was blocked and was nearly turned into a Vidor touchdown as the blocked kick was scooped up and ran almost into the opposite endzone.
Since this was the last game of the season, I think I'm going to point out some nice things that I saw from the players: First of all, the offensive line did a great job in nearly every game. I love defense, so I'm going to point out some defensive players that I noticed: Kirby Nielson was a solid linebacker all season. It's nice to know he'll be back for one more year. Kade Burman, the freakishly tall lanky defensive end was almost a constant force that had to be reckoned with. Burman's motor just kept running and seemed to be stuck in high idle. He kind of reminds me of the Raider great from the 70s, Ted Hendricks (aka, the Stork). I really enjoyed watching what developed into quite a tandem between defensive backs Ken Rue and DeOndre Jackson. Those two just kept improving each week, and in the last few games, they seemed to be coming into their own. It was so fun to watch 'em wreak absolute havoc in the backfield of opponents. Bryant McClendon became an interception machine as a defensive back, yes, he picked one off against Vidor Friday also.
On offense Senior Antonio White constantly frustrated opposing defenses. Antonio was one of the smallest players on the field but played like a giant. Not only was Antonio White fast and elusive, even when they did get their hands on him, he was tough to bring down. Since we're talking about running backs, Devante Mays must be mentioned. The Bull was our best running back, and I don't know, but every since he got that foot injury that put him out for the season, the Lions just weren't quite the same. The site of him limping around in regular clothes on the sidelines was tough to see. Devon Barnes and Marquise Thomas both stepped up and were good running backs and helped fill the absence of the Bull. Damion Collins and Kyle Neal were also good running backs. Both Neal and Collins made a surplus of running plays on the highlight reel in past weeks. Quarterback Chevoski Collins was just flat out a talented runner. If the kid keeps his mind right, keeps his nose clean, and stays healthy, he will be able to write his own ticket to football stardom. Other players that need to be mentioned are Dekarrian Wyatt, Blaine Elster, Cole Galloway, Glen Bangs, Gerrod Hilliard and there's more, but I don't know all the names.
In closing, I felt this was the most talented Lions team that I had seen. They constantly played with urgency and often looked possessed (which is really cool). At the same time, I can't help but think that the 2011 Lions could have achieved so much more. The Lions were capable of beating Vidor, and how they lost to Ozen was the most frustrating part of the season. Can't wait for next season.
Willie Openshaw, Editor
Head coach Randy Rowe unloads on a referee in the fourth quarter.
The Vidor Pirates didn't run out of their tunnel, they walked out struttin.
Marquise Thomas carries the ball for a touchdown in Vidor.
Running back Kyle Neal became a very tough running back in 2011 who was fun to watch.
Running back Antonio White (10) leads for quarterback Chevoski Collins.
Running back Marquise Thomas crosses the goal line in the first quarter to give the Lions a touchdown lead.
The Giraffe: Defensive end Kade Burman waylays a Vidor ball carrier.
Junior Chevoski Collins is getting the attention of major universities.
Clutch runnning: Quarterback Chevoski Collins put the Lions within a point of tying the game on a run from scrimmage.
After breaking through the line Collins was gone (40 yards).
Chevoski "Touchdown" Collins enjoys the ref's sign language.
Chevoski Collins looks like he's striking a Heisman pose as he's run out of bounds.
Collins did everything he could and left everything on the field.
Book Ends: "Mr. Nasty" DeOndre Jackson (2) and Ken Rue became quite a tenacious tandem for the Lion defense in 2011.
Mr. Nasty had an Ominous presence in the Lion Defense.
Marquise Thomas cuts to avoid a tackle.
Thomas carries the ball.
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