Deandre Leak's one yard touchdown plunge with 4:40 left in the game lifted the Palestine Wheatley Patriots to a hard fought 22-19 victory over the Lions Friday night at Manila.
The game was a see-saw battle throughout, with the Lions jumping out on top late in the second quarter. Quarterback Dillon Burrow started the scoring when he found Dylan Bogle on a slant pattern and the sophomore wide receiver raced 44 yards untouched into the end zone, giving Manila a 6-0 lead with 4:52 left in the first half. Burrow's point after gave the Lions a 7-0 lead.
The Patriots came right back on their next possession, driving 61 yards in just four plays, capped off by Desmond Ray's 24-yard touchdown run around left end at the 3:01 mark of the second period. Patrick Williams' 44-yard scamper set up the Patriot touchdown. Palestine Wheatley's two point attempt failed, leaving Manila with a 7-6 edge.
Manila bounced right back, driving 65 yards in seven plays. The Lions began the drive when Burrow connected with senior Brian Borden on a 32 yard pass play. Burrow scampered 10 yards for another first down to the Patriot 23. Five plays later, the junior quarterback found Borden on a five yard touchdown, pulling the Lions to within 14-13 with 6:38 to go in the third quarter. Burrow's point after attempt was blocked.
Manila squandered several opportunities in the red zone. "We had some golden opportunities to score and just couldn't push the ball in the end zone," said Lion coach Toby Doke. "This was a tough loss to take. It's a game we should have won. We made some mistakes but I thought our kids played hard. I made some calls offensively that kind of put us in a bind. Looking back and second guessing myself I made some calls that I wish I had back. I thought for the most part our defense played a good game. We just lost containment on the outside. Their quarterback is a very good player and he made some big plays that cost us."
Manila had a chance to pull the game out late in the fourth quarter after Leak's go-ahead touchdown run. Brian Borden's kickoff return gave the Lions excellent field position at midfield. A pass interference call handed Manila a first down at the Patriot 36. Facing fourth and seven with 3:30 left in the game, Burrow connected with Zach Reinhart on a 14-yard pass play, giving the Lions a first down at the Patriot 19. But the drive bogged down with four straight incompletions and the Patriots ran out the final 3:06 on the clock to secure the win.
Manila racked up 283 yards of total offense, including 211 through the air and 72 on the ground.
Burrow finished the night 12-32 through the air for 211 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Reinhart led all receivers with four receptions for 100 yards. Borden caught four passes for 49 yards and a touchdown while Bogle snared two passes for 49 yards and a score. Colbey Williams caught one pass for 10 yards while Shaun McCallie snared one reception for three yards.
Burrow led Manila in rushing with 40 yards on 10 carries. Borden carried eight times for 28 yards while Bogle rushed twice for nine yards.
Palestine Wheatley gained 358 yards of total offense, including 323 rushing. Williams led all runners with 183 yards on just 11 carries. Leak rushed 19 times for 11 yards while Ray had seven carries for 78 yards. Williams completed two of eight passes for 35 yards and an interception.
"Overall I thought our kids played hard," added Doke. "I am heartbroken that we came up short."
The Lions will return to the field Friday night for another non-conference clash when they travel to Hughes for a 7:30 kickoff.