LIONS COME UP A LITTLE SHORT IN BATTLE WITH BRONCOS Clint Davis
The Livingston Lions stood toe to toe with the Dayton Broncos for four quarters Saturday night in Conroe matching them blow for blow before running out of time and falling just short 39-28.
The final score was not indicative of just how close this game really was, the Lions had the ball deep in Dayton territory middway thru the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead,but failed on a fourth and seven try when a Harris pass to the en zone was picked off and all but sealed a Bronco win that was not insured until the final whistle blew.
Somebody forgot to tell the Lions they were not suppose to be able to keep this thing close, because they took the opening kickoff and aided by a huge run by Dustin Harris went on a 77 yard drive that was capped off by a Brandon McGowan 2 yard TD run for an early 7-0 lead.
After the Broncos had tied it up at 7 the Lions went on another long drive that let the Broncos know they were not going away, as Jordan Nixon burst into the end zone at the 9:47 mark of the 2nd quarter the Lions had a 14-7 lead.
Shelby Cowart did a fine job fielding low snaps all night the second of which he fielded cleanly and got off a beautiful kick that pinned the Broncos on their own two yard line.
The Broncos went the length of the field on a drive that saw the their recievers make a couple of outstanding catches in traffic to pull within a point after missing the PAT the half ended with the Lions holding a 1 point lead.
Led by Brandon McGowan on both sides of the ball the Lions had played a near perfect first half and had to be happy heading into the half.
The Lions coaching staff had these boys perfectly prepared for the biggest game of their lives as they committed no penalties and very very few mistakes giving themselves the best chance possible to defeat one of the best football teams in the state of Texas.
Dayton scored quickly to start the second half, but failed on the two point try and took their first lead 19-14 with 9:44 left to play in the third.
The Lions maintained their composure going on a 7 minute drive with the offensive line opening big holes and McGowan and Nixon dragging Broncos all over the field as they retook the lead on a 1 yard plunge by McGowan at the 2:08 mark of the third quarter.
In what had turned into an epic back and forth battle between two great football teams the Broncos went back in front on TD and two point conversion to bring the score to 27-21 early in the fourth quarter.
Trailing by six and needing a score the Lions went back to work methodically moving down the field four yards at time, the Bronco defense did not seem prepared for such a physical beating administered by this bunch of tough Livingston Lions.
The Lion drive stalled inside the Bronco 20 yard line when facing a fourth down Harris tried to hit a man in the end zone the pass was picked off and returned all the way back to the Lion forty.
The Broncos used the good field position following the turnover to extend their lead to 33-21 after missing the two point try with 4:00 left to play.
As some fans began to head to the exits the gutsy Livingston Lions completed a couple of nice passes and in a matter of seconds got right back into the end zone and with 3:24 left the Lions had cut the lead to 33-28.
So it all came down to an onside kick that was executed well by Cowart got a high bounce giving the Lions a chance to make the play but the Bronco up man did a nice job making the play recovering the kick and ending the LioIns hopes for an upset.
The Broncos added a meaningless late TD to make the final count 39-28.
It has been a great pleasure covering this Lion football team, all year long they laid it all on the line every Friday night.
I am truly honored to be associated with such great group of players and coaches and Livingston you should be too they did us proud.
Thanks Lions what a ride.
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