Miscues haunt Lions in 36-14 loss to Timberwolves
Cedar Ridge took advantage of costly Manila miscues, turning them into instant scores to rally past the Lions 36-14 in 3A-3 senior high football action Friday night at Newark.
Trailing 14-7 early in the second quarter, Cedar Ridge cornerback Keagan Harrison picked off a Jake Helton pass at the Lion 10 yard line and romped into the end zone, pulling the Timberwolves to within a point. Cedar Ridge quarterback Zack Powell hooked up with Jordan Bumpous for the two point conversion play to put the Timberwolves on top to stay, 15-14.
Riding new found momentum, Cedar Ridge held the Lions on downs, forcing a punt. The Timberwolves then put together a six play, 75-yard drive, capped off by Bumpous' 14-yard touchdown scamper. Matthias Talley tacked on the point after, giving Cedar Ridge a 23-14 lead heading into intermission.
Manila took the opening kickoff of the second half, and threatened to score, driving from their own 20 to the Cedar Ridge 18. But on third and eight, Helton saw the ball squirt from his hands on the center exchange and Alex Henderson recovered the fumble for the Timberwolves at the Cedar Ridge 24.
Cedar Ridge kept the ball for the next seven minutes, but the Lion defense stiffened, forcing a punt which the Timberwolves downed at the Lion three yard line. Backed up against their own end zone, Lion quarterback Jake Helton lost the handle on the snap from center for a second time and the Timberwolves pounced on the ball for a touchdown. Talley tacked on the point after, and Cedar Ridge led 30-14 with 2:46 left in the third quarter.
The T-wolves added an insurance score on Powell's 11-yard scamper with 9:23 left in the game, pushing the Cedar Ridge lead to 36-14.
The Timberwolves marched the length of the field on the game's opening possession before the Lions turned back the host on downs at the Manila 12 yard line. Helton picked up four yards on Manila's opening play and then the senior signal caller stunned Cedar Ridge, streaking 84 yards through the heart of the Timberwolves defense for the game's first score. D.J. Myers kicked the extra point, giving Manila a 7-0 lead at the 7:21 mark of the opening quarter.
Cedar Ridge came right back and scored on a six-yard touchdown run by sophomore Daylon Gant. The touchdown was set up by a 54-yard romp by another sophomore, Kyler Northcutt. The point after knotted the game 7-7 with 5:43 to go in the first quarter.
Manila went on top at the 11:32 mark of the second period when Aaron Carter plunged into the end zone from three yards out, capping a 15-play, 65-yard drive. Myers point after put the Lions ahead 14-7.
Manila outgained Cedar Ridge in total yards 301-287. The Lions rushed 40 times for 287 yards, led by Helton's 13 carries for 116 yards. Carter rushed 12 times for 95 yards. Timmy Smith had one carry for 30 yards, Michael Dixon had seven totes for 24 yards while Josh McQueen rushed five times for 22 yards. Helton completed one pass for 14 yards to McQueen.
Northcutt led the Timberwolves with 16 carries for 107 yards. Harrison had seven rushes for 79 yards. Gant rushed eight times for 38 while Bumpous had 12 carries for 26 yards.
The Lions return to conference play Friday night, hosting the Osceola Seminoles at Lion Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.