MOUNT IDA – All of the points may have been scored in the first half, but the Mount Ida Lions defense ruled the field for four quarters, holding the Gurdon Go-Devils to one touchdown in a 20-7 victory.
The win puts the Lions in a position to finish as the One Seed in the 5-2A with some help from Poyen next week. Mount Ida’s 13 point victory gives them 19 tie breaker points and at least a two seed in the playoffs. If Poyen beats Magnet Cove by three points or more next week the Lions would win the tie breaker and the top seed going into the 2A playoffs.
The Mount Ida Lions amassed 350 yards of offense while holding Gurdon to 168 yards of total offense.
Three Lions found the end zone Friday night with Karter Rowton the first to put points on the board. Gurdon received the opening kick off, but Mount Ida’s defense set the tone for the night with a three and out stand, forcing the Go-Devils to punt the ball away. Mount Ida wasn’t phased by a punt that spotted them on their own three yard line to start their first drive.
Mount Ida marched 97 yards in 13 plays, scoring on a four yard run by Rowton. The ensuing two point conversion failed and the Lions held a six point lead with 4:38 left in the first quarter.
Gurdon was able to move the ball into Lion territory on their second drive, but Mount Ida forced a turnover on downs at the Lion 28 yard line. The Lions launched another 13 play drive with A.J. Perez trotting nine yards for the touchdown. A holding penalty moved the point after attempt to the 13 yard line, but Rowton connected with Quincy Lowry for the two point conversion. The Lions lead sat at 14-0 with 7:25 left in the first half.
Gurdon was able to avoid the shut out with a five yard run by Zmari Haynie. The PAT was good with Mount Ida’s lead reduced to 14-7 with 3:16 left in the half.
Mount Ida wasn’t going to settle with a one score lead going into the half. The Lions marched 73 yards in 13 plays to score on a two yard run by Baylor Bates. The two point conversion fell short and the Lions carried a 13 point lead into the half.
Defense ruled the night in the second half with Mount Ida stopping two different Go-Devil drives with interceptions. Connor Sigman ended the first Gurdon drive of the second half with an interception inside the Lion 10 yard line which he returned to the 16. A personal foul against the Go-Devils moved the ball to the 32 yard line. Mount Ida was able to drive the ball inside the Gurdon 10 yard line but would turn the ball over on downs at three yard line.
Gurdon once again moved the ball near midfield, but their drive ended with an interception by Jacob Woodfield at the Lion 32 yard line.
Both teams would mount a pair of drives each in the remainder of the game, but neither offense could find paydirt again.
The Lions held on to win the game by 13.
Jacob Woodfield led the Lions with 23 carries for 124 yards.
Baylor Bates had 28 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown.
A.J. Perez had six carries for 56 yards and a score while Karter Rowton had a carry for four yards and a touchdown.
Rowton was 5-7 in the air for 50 yards. Perez had four catches for 42 yards and Quinton Lowry had one for eight and a two point conversion reception.
Mount Ida will travel to Murfreesboro to face the Rattlers next week with kickoff set for 7 p.m. The Lions will be anxious to hear who emerges victorious in the Magnet Cove/Poyen game next week with a three point Poyen victory giving the Lions the one seed from the 5-2A.