Lions squeeze past Hoxie 24-21
Manila put together a stirring goal line stand, and coupled with Logan Hamilton's career rushing night, staved off a stubborn Hoxie squad with a 24-21 come from behind victory in 3A-3 conference play Friday night at Lion Field.
Hamilton's 52-yard dash with 9:30 left in the contest put Manila on top by three, 24-21. After Manila took the lead, the Mustangs began their final drive from their own 34-yard line. A 29-yard pass play on third and eight from quarterback Chandler Spradlin to wide receiver Chase Moore gave the Mustangs a first down at the Lion 45.
Spradlin hooked up with Moore again for 24 yards, giving Hoxie a new set of downs at the Lion 18. A pair of running plays set up a third and one at the Manila nine with just over four minutes to go, but a procedure penalty pushed the Mustangs back five yards. Diamani Davis cracked through the Lion defense for nine yards and a first and goal at the Manila five with 3:30 left in the game. Two rushing plays lost two yards before Davis gained four to set up a fourth and goal at the Lion three with just under 3:00 left.
After Hoxie burned its last time out, Spradlin took the snap and raced toward the end zone, but a slew of Lion defenders threw him to the turf for a two-yard loss, giving the ball back to Manila with 2:49 remaining. Hamilton then ripped off runs of 13 and 21 yards, and the Lions ran out the clock and preserved the victory to improve to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in league play.
"We squeezed that one out," said Lion Coach Jerry Castor. "We got off to a sluggish start but we came back in the second half and really played well. We had some problems getting the ball away from them. Davis is a good running back and we had to figure some things out defensively, which we finally did. Logan Hamilton had a big game for us tonight. Our quarterbacks played well. We made some adjustments at halftime, which helped us in the second half. This was a great win for us. It evened our conference record and puts us back in the hunt. The kids played hard and I'm proud of them."
Hoxie, who came into the game having scored just 13 points on the year, hit pay dirt on the fourth play of the game when Davis rambled 51 yards for a score, giving the Mustangs an early lead with 10:35 left in the opening period. Ty "Ham" Woodard tacked on the point after, and Hoxie held a 7-0 lead.
Manila came right back when quarterback Patrick Tanner found wide receiver Tyler Archer on a 26-yard touchdown pass. Archer juggled the ball before hauling it in, breaking a pair of tackles and racing up the left sidelines into the end zone at the 8:47 mark. The point after attempt failed, leaving the Lions down a point, 7-6.
Kyle Bell picked off a Spradlin pass on Hoxie's next possession, giving the ball back to Manila. After a pair of plays netted negative yardage, Hamilton found a crease and galloped 75 yards untouched to put the Lions ahead 12-7. The two-point conversion attempt was no good.
Hoxie answered with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive, capped off by Spradlin's nine-yard touchdown toss to Keifer Wilson with just 28 ticks left in the first quarter. Woodard's point after gave Hoxie a 14-12 advantage.
The Mustangs increased their lead to 21-12, thanks to a bad snap that sailed over Manila punter Logan Hamilton's head and was recovered by Hoxie at the Lion two. Spradlin plunged into the end zone, and after Woodard nailed the point after, the Mustangs were suddenly up 21-12 with 10:48 to go in the second quarter.
Hoxie held their nine point lead until Hamilton broke free and raced 59 yards for a score with 4:45 left in the third period. The point after attempt failed, leaving Hoxie with a 21-18 lead, setting up Manila's fourth quarter comeback.
The Lions finished the night with 347 yards of total offense, an average of 9.5 yards per play. Manila gained 291 yards on the ground and another 56 through the air. Hamilton ran for 247 yards on just 14 carries, averaging almost 18 yards per rush, and scored three times. Tanner had seven carries for 26 yards and completed 3-4 passes for 48 yards and a score. Layne Sims rushed seven times for 20 yards and completed one of two passes for eight yards. Archer hauled in two receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown.
The Lions picked off three passes, including one each by Bell, Josh Waddell and Timmy Smith.
Hoxie held the ball for almost 30 minutes and ran off 66 plays for 271 yards. The Mustangs had 200 yards rushing and 71 passing. Davis gained 155 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. Spradlin rushed 14 times for 25 yards and a score while completing 4-11 passes for 71 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Moore caught three passes for 62 yards.
The Lions return to conference play Friday night with a road trip to Corning. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.