MOUNT IDA – The Mount Ida Junior Lions needed some help from their opponents mistakes, but they were able to hold on for a 12-6 victory over the visiting Bearden Junior Bears last Thursday.
Penalties loomed large over the outcome of the game with Bearden scoring three times only to have them negated due to laundry on the field. They had another big gain to the Lion 10 yard line moved back to the 48 yard line on an infraction.
Bearden ate up the entire first quarter with their opening drive which marched from their own 35 yard line to the Junior Lion 15 before stalling out. An false start penalty pushed the Bears back to the Lion 21 yard line and on fourth and 16 Cain McCullough and Ben Woodfield sacked Bearden’s quarterback to kill the drive.
Mount Ida took over five seconds into the second quarter. They marched 69 yards in seven plays, scoring on a 10 yard run by Woodfield. The two point conversion failed and the Junior Lions held a six point lead with 4:48 left in the half.
It appeared as if Bearden had tied the game up on their first play from scrimmage when Marki Jimmerson broke loose for a 57 yard touchdown run. However, a block in the back on the run brought the ball back to the Mount Ida 38. Bearden drove the ball inside the Lions’ 10 yard line, but were stopped short on a fourth and one from the 11 yard line.
Bearden would tie things up in the second half with a three yard run by Tristan Olvey. The Junior Bears started their scoring drive on their own 31 with 3:44 left in the third quarter. They drove down the field on a 10 play drive. Jimmerson had another long run for a score negated with a holding play on the sixth play of the drive, but the Bears were able to tie things up on the three yard run by Olvey.
Mount Ida responded with a nine yard drive that ended with a 25 yard halfback pass to Dakota Beechy with 2:44 left in the game. The two point conversion failed once again and the Junior Lions clung to a 12-6 lead.
Bearden quickly moved the ball downfield on a 12 play drive and had yet another touchdown negated due to a penalty. Kemari Nettles caught a pass in the end zone with less than 30 seconds left in the game, however a lineman had made his way into the end zone which resulted in a flag. The Junior Bears were moved back to their own 10 yard line. Mount Ida was able to hold them out of the endzone to win the game by six.
Statistically the teams were evenly matched on offense. Mount Ida had 26 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown while Bearden had 26 carries for 84 yards and a score. The Junior Lions were 3-3 in the air for 67 yards and a touchdown, while Bearden completed 10 of 14 passes for 122 yards.
Ben Woodfield led the Junior Lions with 14 carries for 73 yards and Dalton Young had seven carries for 44 yards. Dakota Beechy and Gus Gray each had carries. Gray had a 16 yard reception and Beechy had two for 51 yards and a score.
The Junior Lions will host the Mineral Springs Junior Hornets Thursday. Kick off will be at 7 p.m.