After starting their first two games of the season at home, the Lions made the trip out to Lindhurst for their first game on the road to take on the Blazers. The Lions were coming off a devastating loss to the Marysville Indians, so they needed a win to re-gain some momentum. The Lions did just that with a 31-20 victory over the Blazers Friday night.
The beginning of the game was dry offensively, with neither team scoring in the first quarter. In fact, a little scuffle between the teams was really the only action in the first quarter.
However, there was a barrage of offense in the second quarter, practically all of it coming from Live Oak. Everything began clicking when Live Oak player Christian Mendez made an interception and returned it for a touchdown for a pick six and to put the Lions on the scoreboard first. Rene Martinez would make the PAT to give the Lions a 7-0 lead. Later in the quarter, Lions quarterback Steven Garcia hit Andrew Lopez deep for a big gain. This play would help set up a Matt Evans touchdown run later in the drive. Again, Rene Martinez kicked a successful PAT, giving the Lions a 14-0 lead. The Lions continued their second quarter domination when Omar Gorsi intercepted a Blazers’ pass. The resulting possession ended with Matt Evans rushing for his second touchdown of the night. Rene Martinez would make the PAT, giving the Lions a 21-0 advantage heading into halftime.
There was not much offense in the third quarter, with only 9 points scored between the two teams combined. In fact, it seemed as though every possession was ended with a turnover. Nevertheless, the Lions struck first in the third quarter when Rene Martinez kicked a successful field goal to give the Lions a 24-0 lead. Later in the quarter, the Blazers ended the Lions’ shutout win chances when Blazers quarterback Tim Endicott threw a touchdown pass to James Duelfer. The Lions would block the PAT, keeping the score 24-6 in favor of Live Oak heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lions capped off their night of scoring when Matt Evans rushed for a touchdown on fourth down. With Rene Martinez’s extra point, the Lions finished the night with 31 points. The Blazers didn’t go down without a fight, however. In fact, things got tense for the Lions as the Blazers got on a run of their own. James Duelfer caught his second touchdown pass from Tim Endicott and, with the Blazers completing a two-point conversion, the score was trimmed to 31-14. Later in the fourth quarter, Tim Endicott added a third passing touchdown to his stat sheet as he connected with Hugo Arroyo for a touchdown. The Blazers failed on the two-point conversion, keeping the score to 31-20. That score would stand and the Lions took home the eleven point win.
Page 2 of 2 - Matt Evans was pleased with the teamwork on offense and credited it in helping make his three rushing touchdowns possible. “They [the holes] opened up and I had good wide receivers like Andrew and Tristan out there blocking and they did what they had to do on the corners and my blockers were doing what they were supposed to.” Evans also noted that he enjoys being expected to play a big part on the team. “It’s kind of a confidence booster. I try harder because I just want to win and I love winning.”
Next week, the Lions take on Gridley in the Harvest Bowl. Gridley did not win a single game last year but, Lions coach Dan Johnson is not taking any chances. “You always have to go into every game without underestimating anybody. We have to work hard; we have to get better every week to get a win.”