LIONS COLLAR BULLDOGS IN SLUGFEST 55-50
Nederland- It wasn't until the 1:02 mark of the fourth quarter when Lion quarterback Dustin Harris connected with Keaton Parker in the front of the end zone for a touchdown, would the issue be decided in one of the most exciting high school football games ever played in southeast Texas.
The Parker grab gave the Lions a 55-42 lead with under a minute left to play, the Bulldogs added a late score and two point conversion to make the final score 55-50.
In what can only be described as a barn burner, the Lions got off to a slow start to say the least as Bulldog running back Wareall Grogan ran roughshod over the Lions defense as the Bulldogs built an early 14-0 lead and looked unstoppable along the way.
The Lions took the Bulldogs best punch and responded with a 43 yard Parker touchdown run to close the gap to 14-7 with 11:51 left to play in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs were not impressed and swiftly moved in for another score to extend their lead to 21-7 with 7:50 left to go before the half.
After Jordan Nixon went 37 yards for the score to bring the Lions within 7, the Lion defense held for the first time all night forcing the Bulldogs to punt and they downed the kick at the Lion six inch line.
At this point in the contest pinned deep in their own territory and trailing by 7 coach Randy Rowe decided he was not going to give the ball back to Grogan and the powerful Bulldog offense, facing a fourth and inches at their own 10 yard line the Lions handed the ball to Brandon McGowan who picked up just enough for the first down and a new set of downs for the Lions.
On the very next play Dustin Harris faked the reverse to Parker going right and Harris sprinted around the left end for a 90 yard touchdown run to pull the Lions into a 21-21 tie with 2:03 to play before the half. The Bulldogs added a late score and Nederland took a hard fought 28-21 lead into the locker room.
The Lions took the second half kickoff and did what they would do on every possesion in the second half they scored, on a 43 yard Keaton Parker run to tie the score at 28 early in the third quarter.
After the Bulldogs had answered the Lion score with a touchdown of their own to retake the lead, Josh Henderson fielded the ensuing kickoff and pitched it back to Dustin Harris who raced 65 yards for the score to tie the game once again with 5:43 left in the third quarter.
Dustin Harris picked off a Bulldog pass on the next set of downs and Quinton Jackson made the Bulldogs pay as he went in for a 7 yard score to give the Lions their first lead at 42-35 late in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs answered once again as Grogan lead them down the field and capped off the drive with a 22 yard run for the score to tie the game at 42 with :07 seconds left to play in the third.
The Lions then went on a long time consuming drive and Brandon McGowan bulled his way into the end zone with 5:36 left to play to give the Lions the lead one more time at 49-42.
It was then time for the gutsy Lion defense to force the Bulldogs to turn the ball over on downs and give the offense a chance to run out the clock and seal the win, but it would not be that easy.
The Lions facing fourth and long and needing a first down Harris hit Presscot on an out route for the first down to set up the final Lion score when Harris found Parker for the 32 yard touchdown and a 55-42 lead.
Folks it has been a long night and this story does not come close to adequately describing what a great football game that was played tonight in the golden triangle.
With the win tonight this group of gritty Lions have all but assured themselves of a playoff spot and an opportunity to win a district championship.