Junior Lions stun Osceola 14-0

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Manila pulled off one of the biggest victories in school history, shutting out perennial power Osceola 14-0 Thursday night in junior high football action at Lion Field.

Manila linebacker Dalton Jones (50) chases Osceola running back Landon Cagle (15) in junior high football action Thursday night at Manila. The Lion defense held the Seminoles scoreless, as Manila defeated Osceola 14-0.

The Lion defense stymied the Seminoles throughout the night while the Manila offense controlled the clock, keying the victory. Manila (2-5, 2-4 3A-3) got touchdown runs from eighth graders Patrick Tanner and Tyler Johnson. Tanner scored the Lions' first touchdown on an 18-yard scamper with 1:29 left in the first half. Johnson tacked on Manila's second score with 3:13 left in the game with a seven yard touchdown run through the heart of the Seminole defense to salt the game away.

Osceola looked as though they would strike early when running back Jay Woodson broke loose into the Lion secondary on the Seminoles first play from scrimmage, bolting 53 yards before Manila's Luis Maldonado caught the speedy Seminole from behind at the Lion 32 with a touchdown saving tackle. The Lion defense stiffened, holding Osceola on downs to halt the threat.

Osceola mounted another threat late in the game, but the Lion defense turned back the Seminoles at the Manila 19 and ran out the clock to preserve the victory, setting off a wild celebration on the Lion sidelines.

Freshmen Vince Bolinger (55), Chris Pennington (61), Juan Villegas (33) and Justin Walton (8) served as team captains for the junior Lions Thursday night.

"The kids played a great game tonight," said Manila Coach Trent Floyd. "We gave up a big play early, but then we stuffed them the rest of the night. The kids played hard all night and never quit on a play. They had tremendous pursuit to the ball. They played hard hitting football. I was very proud of them. They played their guts out. I thought we were the more physical team tonight. We were able to wear them down on both sides of the ball.

"Tyler Johnson had a great game tonight. We were able to establish the inside running attack, which opened up our outside game. I thought our line blocked well and our receivers blocked well. Our quarterback Patrick Tanner was able to check off into some better plays for us. It was just an overall team effort.

"It's fun to win and shut out a program like Osceola that has such great tradition. This kind of win can help springboard our kids and mentally let them know that we can compete in this conference. It's the biggest win we've had in junior high since I have been involved in the program, at least from an emotional and historical perspective," said Floyd.

Johnson led the Lions with 112 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. Tanner rushed nine times for 22 yards and a score. Manila finished the night with 134 yards total offense, all on the ground.

Osceola had 157 yards total offense, 117 on the ground and 40 through the air. The Seminoles hurt their own cause, losing three fumbles on the night.

The junior Lions will play their season finale Thursday night, playing host to conference rival Earle. Kickoff is set for 7:00.

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