Lovelady Falls to Timpson 20-14

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

LOVELADY – It was a homecoming of sorts in Lovelady on Friday night as former Lions’ coach Kerry Therwanger brought the Timpson Bears into Houston County for a game against the Lions.

The game was a throwback to days gone by as both teams tried to wear each other down in the trenches with a pass or two sprinkled in. Through three quarters of play the two teams slugged it out in the middle of the field as the evenly matched squads went into the final 12 minutes of played tied at 14.

The pigskin is an odd-shaped ball and it has been known to take to funny bounces. Sometimes the ball will bounce right back to you and other times it will do strange things.

In the fourth quarter, the ball took some odd bounces and the visiting Bears took advantage of their good fortune as two tipped balls turned a potential loss into a tough, 20-14 road win for Timpson.

As the game got underway, the Lions won the toss and elected to defer until the second half. That meant the Bears opened the game with possession at their own 38 yard line. A pair of carries by Bear RB Jordan Osby moved the ball into the Lovelady end of the field, but an incomplete pass and loss of six by Osby forced Timpson to punt.

The punt pinned the Lions on their own one yard line but on first down Lovelady caught a break after a four yard pick up from Tim Johnson. The Bears were called for a facemask penalty at the end of the run and the personal foul moved the ball out to the 20 yard line.

After Johnson picked five, Colt Robinson threw an incompletion but turned around on the next play and connected with Alex McKnight for 42 yards to move the ball to the Bears 33 yard line.

An illegal procedure call pushed the Lions back to the 38 but on the ensuing play, Johnson found a seam in the Timpson defense and burst up the middle for a 38 yard scoring romp,. The two point conversion attempt was no good, but at the 8:16 mark of the first quarter, Lovelady led by a score of 6-0.

On Timpson’s next possession, the Bears drove deep into Lovelady territory but a big hit by McKnight kept Bear WR Datrien Bendy from picking up the yardage needed for a first down.

The Lions took over at their own 25 and after two plays went nowhere, Robinson connected with McKnight once again for a 24 yard pickup. Johnson was bottled up as the drive continued, but then Robinson found Michael Price for a 22 yard completion which put the Lions back in the Bears’ red zone.

A pass interference call in the end zone brought the ball to the Timpson 10 yard line, but at the point, the Bears defense bowed up and kept the Lions out of the end zone.

The Bears were unable to generate any offense and were forced to punt from deep in their own territory. A poor punt gave the Lions excellent field position at the Timpson 38.

On first down, Johnson picked up four but on second down, Robinson kept it himself and managed to get down to the two yard line before he was run out of bounds. From there, Johnson did the rest as he bulled his way across the goal line for his second TD of the night. He also added the two point conversion on a counter play and with 10:26 remaining in the first half, the Lions led 14-0.

After a good return on the ensuing kickoff the Bears took over at the midfield stripe. From there it was a heavy dose of Osby as he picked up six and then five yards. After he missed on two straight pass attempts, Timpson QB Jon Grogan found Jaden Johnson for a 14 yard pick up.

The Bears continued to feed Osby and after three straight carries, Timpson was knocking on the door. After Grogan was sacked for an eight yard loss, the Bears executed a fake jet sweep as the QB pulled the ball from the runner, raised up and connected with Johnson for a 14 yard score to cut the lead to 14-6.

The score remained that way until halftime as both teams exchanged turnovers and punts.

The second half got underway with Lovelady set to receive the ball. On the kickoff, the ball was mishandled and resulted in the Lions starting the third quarter of play from their own five yard line.

After picking up an initial first down, the Lions were forced to punt. Timpson took over at their own 29 and went back to the ground. Osby carried the ball on five of the next six snaps to move the Bears inside the Lovelady 20.

After Grogan connected with Brock Behrens for four yards, an illegal procedure penalty pushed the ball back to the 13.

Following a four yard gain by Grogan, Timpson was faced with a fourth and seven situation at the Lovelady 12.  On the next play from scrimmage, Grogan found Behrens all alone in the end zone for a touchdown and when Osby added the two point conversion, the score was tied at 14 with 4:04 left in the third quarter.

As the fourth quarter got underway, the Lions mounted a sustained drive that ended in an apparent McKnight five yard touchdown. On the play, however, the Lions were flagged for holding and the TD was taken off the board.

Lovelady was unable to punch the ball in and turned it over on downs. The game remained tied until there was less than a minute showing on the clock

The Lions took possession of the ball with 2:44 seconds remaining to play – enough time for a game-winning drive.  It was not meant to be, however, as a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage on first down was intercepted by defensive lineman Shane Peveto after he was able to corral the ball before it hit the turf.

Timpson took over at the Lions’ 14 and after two runs went nowhere. Grogan was faced with a third and long, with time running down.

On third and 10 from the 12, Grogan dropped back to pass and was confronted with a heavy pass rush. He threw an off-balance pass that glanced off the hands of Kaeson Gentry and right into the hands of Behrens who was standing alone in the end zone.

Behrens touchdown catch at the 59 second mark of the fourth quarter made the score Timpson 20 and Lovelady 14.

After the two point conversion attempt failed, the Lions had one last chance but could not capitalize on it and fell by a final score of 20-14.

The Lions have a bye next week and will return to action on Oct. 13 as they travel to West Sabine to take on the Tigers in the district opener.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.