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Lions run their way past Hornets on way to finals

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MOUNT IDA – The Mount Ida Lions are one win away from their second state title in nine years after claiming a 33-20 victory over the Camden Harmony Grove Hornets in the semifinals of the 2A state playoffs.
Mount Ida made the most of their home field advantage, amassing 463 yards of offense with 406 coming by way of the ground game.
Mount Ida utilized the veer as well as they have all season with three backs finishing the night with 100 plus yards.
Cade Helms led the team with 116 yards on 21 carries, followed by Gage Dyer who had a season high 110 yards on 10 carries. Jonathan Legrange was the workhorse in the trenches, carrying the ball 24 times for 106 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback Cade Jackson had 11 carries for 77 yards and one score. He also was 2-2 in the air for 57 yards. Austin McAdoo had a 42 yard reception and Dyer had a 15 yard catch.
The Lion defense held Camden Harmony Grove to 66 yards on the ground while giving up 275 yards in the air.
Mount Ida opened the game with a big defensive stop, forcing the Hornets to punt the ball on fourth and three from their own 38. The Lions pushed the ball down the field, eating up most of the first quarter with a 17 play drive that drained almost seven minutes off the clock. Tyler Allenbrand hit a 21 yard field goal to give the Lions an early three point lead.
The Lions’ first touchdown came at the 8:53 mark in the second quarter on a five yard run by Cade Jackson. The touchdown capped an eight play drive. Allenbrand hit the PAT to give the Lions a 10-0 lead.
Mount Ida scored again with less than a minute to go in the half on a three yard run by Jonathan Legrange. They had started the drive on their own 31, traveling the distance in 13 plays.
Camden was able to get on the board before the end of the half thanks to an 18 yard touchdown reception with 25 seconds left in the half. They connected on the PAT to cut the lead to 17-7.
The Lions opened the second half with a nine play drive that traveled 66 yards and ended in a three yard touchdown run by Legrange with 9:22 to go in the third. Allenbrand’s PAT was good and the Lions held a 24-7 lead.
Camden was able to respond with a quick three play drive that ended with a 12 yard touchdown reception. Their PAT was good and the Lion lead stood at 24-14 with 7:32 to go in the third.
Mount Ida retaliated with a 10 play drive that ended in a 12 yard touchdown run by Legrange with 4:01 to go in the third. The PAT went wide right and the Lion lead sat at 30-14.
The Hornets came firing back with a seven play drive that ended in a six yard reception for a score. They went for two and were stopped short, cutting the Lion lead to 10 once again with a score of 30-20 with just over a minute to go in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was a back and forth affair with Mount Ida posting the only points of the quarter thanks to a 33 yard field goal by Allenbrand.
Sustained drives were the difference in the game with Mount Ida rattling off 75 plays in the game to Camden’s 66.
Coach Mike White stated that his boys played hard and are jelling at the right time of the season. The Lion defense bent but didn’t break most of the night while the offense pounded the ball down the field all night long.
Mount Ida advances to the 2A state championship game and will face the Hampton Bulldogs, Saturday, December 10, at 12 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.