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Lions defense holds in 24-22 victory

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY|dewayne@mcnews.online
MOUNT IDA – Special teams proved to be the difference in a hard fought battle between the Mount Ida Junior Lions and the Poyen Junior Indians with a two point conversion deciding the outcome of the game. The Junior Lions were able to hand on for a 24-22 victory.
Mount Ida’s defense stepped up early, forcing an Indian turnover on the Lion 44 yard line. Gus Gray recovered the fumble for the Junior Lions with 6:56 left in the first quarter.
The Junior Lions marched downfield on an eight play, 56 yard drive that ended in a five yard touchdown run by Dalton Young. Young got the call on the two-point conversion to give Mount Ida an 8-0 lead with 4:12 left in the first quarter.
Poyen methodically marched into the second quarter with a 17 play drive that began on their own 15 yard line. They were three yards from the end zone when an errant snap bounced back to the 15 yard line before Dakota Beechy fell on it for the Junior Lions.
Mount Ida was unable to capitalize on the turnover and fumbled the ball away themselves on the Poyen 28 yard line.
The Junior Indians were able to get on the board after traversing 72 yards in 11 plays, scoring on a two yard run by Colt Barrett. He took the two-point conversion in as well to tie things up at eight with 22 seconds left in the first half.
The Junior Lions wasted no time in the opening moments of the second half, scoring on a 20 yard run by Beechy. He took the ball in for the two-point conversion to regain the lead for the Junior Lions with 5:20 left in the third quarter.
Poyen responded with an eight play 65 yard drive that ended with 13 yard run by Alejandro Bulguzman. He took the two-point conversion in to knot things up at 16 with 1:32 left in the third quarter.
The Junior Lions only needed five plays to reclaim the lead. Beechy started the drive with a 28 yard run. He dropped a lateral pass from Cain McCullough, but scooped the ball up and reversed the field before finding a hole. Kaceston Phimvongsa and Young took turns running the ball with Beechy finishing things off with a 23 yard touchdown run. Young took the ball in for the two-point conversion with 7:27 left in the game.
Poyen responded with an eight play 61 yard drive that ended with a 37 yard run by Bulguzman. The difference in the game would come on the ensuing two point conversion. Barrett raced to the end zone but was stopped short by Ty Spier for Mount Ida.
The Junior Lions ran out the clock to claim the 24-22 victory.
Dakota Beechy led the Junior Lions with six carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns. He also had three catches for 49 yards.
Kaceston Phimvongsa had 10 carries for 59 yards and Dalton Young had 12 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown.
Cain McCullough was three for four in the air for 49 yards.
Poyen had 28 carries for 156 yards and three touchdowns while completing 10 of 15 passes for 118 yards.
Mount Ida traveled to Hot Springs Tuesday night to face the eighth grade Lakeside team. They will travel to Gurdon next Thursday to face the Junior Go-Devils in the finals game of the season. Kick off will be at 7 p.m.

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