Harrisburg took advantage of a Manila turnover in the fourth quarter and punched in the winning touchdown with 5:46 left to steal a 14-8 victory away from the Lions Thursday night at Manila.
The Lions had one last chance to pull out the victory after a short Hornet kickoff gave Manila the ball at their own 47 with 5:40 remaining. A 16-yard run by Timmy Smith, followed by a 13-yard romp from Hunter Bass, gave the Lions a first down at the Hornet 33. But a holding penalty and procedure penalty on consecutive downs put the Lions in a third and 29 hole. Two running plays left the Lions short of the needed first down, and Harrisburg ran out the final 1:07 to preserve the victory.
The Lions answered immediately with a touchdown of their own when quarterback Luis Maldonado hooked up with Smith on a 32-yard touchdown pass with only 46 seconds left in the half, tying the game at 6-6. Johnson's two point conversion run up the middle gave Manila an 8-6 halftime lead.
"Our kids played hard and did everything we asked," said Lion Coach Trent Floyd. "It was a wet field and the ball just got swept out. It was an unfortunate turn of events. The kids responded to a challenge we gave them last week. They played extremely hard and laid it on the line tonight. I am very proud of our kids. It didn't work out tonight, but if we keep up that kind of effort, it will wind up paying off for us."
Manila outgained Harrisburg in total yards 171-110. The Lions finished the night with 139 yards on the ground and 32 through the air. Smith ran five times for 37 yards while Maldonado had seven carries for 31 yards. Johnson finished the night with seven rushes for 30 yards. Bass had three carries for 23 yards while Josh South rushed four times for 18 yards. Maldonado completed one of five passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. Smith caught one pass for 32 yards and a score.
The Lions will travel to Hoxie Thursday night to take on the Mustangs.