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Junior Lions fall short in season opener

MOUNT IDA – Special teams play was a huge factor last Thursday as the Mount Ida Junior Lions fell to the visiting Magnet Cove Junior Panthers by a score of 34-28 in a non-conference season opener.

Mount Ida played well on special teams with Head Coach Zack Wuichet keeping the kicking game simple with short kicks. Mount Ida was unable to recover any on side kicks, while Magnet Cove recovered their only attempt in the third quarter, setting up a key touchdown in the game that gave them a two score lead over the Lions.

Mount Ida won the toss, but deferred to the second half. Magnet Cove started their opening drive at midfield and two plays later scored on a 39 yard run. The two point conversion came up short and they held a 6-0 lead with a minute gone off the clock.

Mount Ida claimed the lead on the ensuing kick off thanks to a 70 yard return by Jacob Woodfield. Woodfield fielded the kick at the Mount Ida 30 yard, cutting through traffic to the open field on the home side of the field. Caleb White bulldozed his way into the end zone on the two point conversion to give Mount Ida an 8-6 lead with 6:46 to go in the first quarter.

Magnet Cove responded with a six play scoring drive that traversed 54 yards. They converted on the two point conversion to take a 14-8 lead.

The Lions took over on their own 45 yard line and methodically drove the ball 55 yards to score on a six yard run by White with 41 seconds left in the first half. He trotted in for the two point conversion to give Mount Ida a 16-14 lead.

Magnet Cove only needed two plays to regain the lead, this time on a 53 yard touchdown run. The two point conversion failed and they held a 20-16 lead with 7:41 to go in the first half.

Mount Ida fought their way down field to the Panther six yard line before fumbling the ball away on the three yard line.

Magnet Cove moved the ball to their own 33 yard line,  but Woodfield cut their drive short with an interception. Mount Ida was moving the ball when the half come to an end.

Mount Ida opened the second half with a four play 44 yard drive that ended with a 33 yard touchdown run by Woodfield. The two point conversion failed and the Junior Lions held a narrow 22-20 lead with 5:56 to go in the third quarter.

Magnet Cove responded with a five play 58 yard drive that ended with a 30 yard touchdown run. They converted on the two point conversion to take a 28-22 lead.

Magnet Cove was able to break the tit for tat scoring cycle by recovering the ensuing kick off on the Lion 38 yard line and later scoring on a 15 yard pass.

Mount Ida looked as if they might have found an answer for the Panthers on the first play of the drive. Magnet Cove’s quarterback rolled to his right and was sacked by Payton Dorrell for an eight yard loss. Unfortunately, back to back completions moved the Panthers inside the Lion 15 yard line. Two plays later they scored on a 15 yard pass. The two point conversion failed and they held a 34-22 lead with 7:53 to go in the final quarter.

Mount Ida was able to  score a final time on a 21 yard run by Woodfield, but would not be able to avoid the loss.

Jacob Woodfield led all rushers with 21 carries for 182 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a 70 yard kick off return for a touchdown and an interception.

Caleb White had 12 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Payton Dorrell had two carries for eight yards.

Mount Ida had 35 carries for 257 yards and three TDs as a team.

Magnet Cove combined for 169 yards and four touchdowns on the ground through 18 carries. They also completed 8-11 passes for 145 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Mount Ida’s Junior Lions will be off next week, but will travel to Jessieville Thursday, September 12. Kick off will be at 7 p.m.

Article Written by Dewayne Holloway

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