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Lions lose season opener

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online
BALD KNOB – The Mount Ida Lions didn’t get off to the start they wanted this season, losing on the road to the Bald Knob Bulldogs 42-6.
The Lions travelled to Bald Knob with one day of preparation after Danville dropped their scheduled game days earlier. Coach Zack Wuichet was able to secure a replacement game last Wednesday with Bald Knob, a member of the 4-4A Conference.
The Lions looked good in their first drive, taking the ball inside the Bulldog 10 yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
John Hoeksema fielded a short kick on the Lions 39 yard to open the game. Baylor Bates raced 22 yards on the first play from scrimmage to move Mount Ida into Bald Knob territory. Five plays later Bates crossed the 20 yard line on a five yard run. Jack Hoeksema sneaked past the 10 yard line on a 2nd and nine. Jacob Woodfield fought his way to the six on the next play, but Bald Knob would shut Mount Ida down on fourth down.
Mount Ida’s defense held on the Bulldog’s first attempt on offense, forcing a punt on a 4th and 13 from their own 25. The Lions looked to have good field position on their own 44 yard line, but a personal foul pushed them back inside the 30.
Things began to stall for the Lions offense at this point with a three and out ending in a punt. The defense held again, forcing another Bulldog punt.
Mount Ida’s third possession started on a short field at the Bulldog 32 yard line. A pass interference call against the Bulldogs moved the Lions to the 23 yard line. Bates was able to move them to the 13 yard line on back to back carries, but the drive would end in an interception.
Bald Knob took the ball 53 yards in six plays to score on a six yard run. The following two point conversion was good to give them an 8-0 lead with 6:34 to go in the half.
The Bulldogs would score on their next drive on an eight yard run. The Lions stopped them on the two point conversion to hold them to a 14 point lead with 1:31 left in the first half.
Mount Ida ended the first half inside the Bulldog 20 yard line thanks to a pass caught by John Hoeksema on the 18 yard line. The half ended at the conclusion of the play.
The third quarter was all Bald Knob with the Bulldogs scoring three times. The first touchdown came at the 7:56 mark on a two yard run. The two point conversion failed and they held a 20-0 lead. The second score of the quarter came at the 6:05 mark on a 28 yard run. The two point conversion failed. They would score once more on a six yard run. The two point conversion was good to give them a 34-0 lead with 45 seconds to go in the third quarter.
Mount Ida was able to score in the fourth on a drive that started with a fumble recovery by Jacob Woodfield on the Lion 40 yard line. It took the Lions 11 plays to drive the ball 60 yards. Baylor Bates scored on a nine yard run for the first Mount Ida Lion touchdown of the season. There were three attempts at the two point conversion, but the Lions weren’t able to add to their total.
Bald Knob would score once more on a 32 yard run. The two point conversion as good to give them a 42-6 lead.
Taylor Bates led the Lions offense with 81 yards of rushing, followed by Jacob Woodfield who had 31 yards. A.J. Perez rushed for 27 yards, followed by Jack Hoeksema with 25 yards. Caleb White rushed for eight yards and John Hoeksema and Gavin Summitt each rushed for six.
White and John Hoeksema connected on a 25 yard pass for the only reception of the night.
Defensively, The Lions held Bald Knob to 42 yards rushing and nine in the air in the first half. The Bulldogs were able to end the game with 181 yards rushing. They were six for 12 in the air for 82 yards. All of their touchdowns came through their ground game.
Mount Ida will travel to Perryville Friday night to face the Mustangs. Kick off will be at 7 p.m.

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