By Dewayne Holloway
Montgomery County News
MINERAL SPRINGS – Things got off to a slow start Friday but the Mount Ida Lions were able to open the conference schedule with a 42-14 victory over the Mineral Springs Hornets.
Mineral Springs is the fist team to score twice on the Lions this season and the second score on their first string defense.
Mount Ida may have given up 14 points for the first time this season, but they did hold the Hornets to 182 yards of total offense.
The Lions offense controlled the field most of the game, amassing 373 yards on the ground and five touchdowns by four different ball carriers.
Cade Helms led the charge with 15 carries for 80 yards and two scores. Cade Jackson had six carries for 73 yards and a touchdown. He also completed two of four passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.
Jonathan Lagrange had 10 touches for 60 yards and a touchdown, followed by Luke Forga with two carries for 31 yards. Bridger Farmer accounted for the fifth rushing touchdown. He had three carries for 20 yards as well.
Dallas Weston had three carries for 27 yards, Gage Dyer had two carries for 19 yards and a 17 yards catch. Tyler Hamilton had two carries for 15 yards and Hunter Davis had two for 10 yards.
Ridge Gibbs had one carry for 43 yards and one catch for 30 and a TD. Dawson Huff had a carry for three yards, Jathan Dillon had a carry for two yards and TJ Walden had a carry.
Tahji Beal led the Hornets with eight carries for 20 yards, while Octavion Ceasar ran for seven yards and went 7-14 in the air for 129 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Ladarrius Hicks had two caries for six yards and two catches for 85 yards and a score. Raheem Brown had two catches for 39 yards and a carry and Rayshawn Sanders had a touchdown catch for 11 yards and a carry. Tahji Beal had two catches for 24 yards, Camron Walker had a catch for 16 yards and Devon Swopes had a catch for a yard.
The game opened with back to back to back punts as Mineral Springs punted the ball away on their first drive, followed by Mount Ida and then the Hornets again.
The Lions made some offensive adjustments and were to launch a 10 play scoring drive. Mount Ida stayed on the ground for nine plays, moving to the Hornet 17 yard line. Cade Jackson rolled to his left on third and two and raced to the end zone for the first score of the night. Tyler Allenbrand’s PAT was good and the Lions took a 7-0 lead with 2:55 to go in the first quarter.
Mount Ida started their next drive on the Hornet 45 thanks to a lengthy punt return by Jackson. The Lions moved the chains on back to back runs by Jackson before he took to the air to find Ridge Gibbs open for a 30 yard touchdown pass. The PAT was good and the Lions went up 14-0 with 10:56 to go in the half.
Mineral Springs was able to get the ball to midfield on the ensuing drive, but turned the ball over on downs on the Lion 46.
Mount Ida only needed six plays to score again, this time on a two yard run by Cade Helms. The PAT was good and Mount Ida held a 21-0 lead with 8:04 to go in the half.
Things continued to go Mount Ida’s way when the ensuing kick off bounced off a Hornet and into the hands of Tyler Hamilton. Four plays later Jonathan Lagrange punched it in from seven yards out for the fourth touchdown of the night. Allenbrand’s PAT was good and the Lion lead was 28-0 with 7:32 to go in the half.
Tahji Beal got the Hornet faithful to their feet with a thrilling kick off return that ended on the Lion 15 yard line. Mineral Springs found little on the ground, but Octavion Ceaser was able to find Rayshawn Sanders in the corner of the end zone for a Hornet touchdown. A penalty on the point after attempt gave the Hornets a second chance at a two point conversion. However, the Lions stopped the run to hold the Lions to a score of 28-6 with 5:44 to go in the half.
Mount Ida responded with a 12 play 80 yard drive that ended with a three yard touchdown run by Helms. Allenbrand hit the PAT to give the Lions a 35-6 lead.
The game ended on a thrilling note when Ceaser launched a deep pass just shy of the Hornet end zone which Jackson picked off for the Lions. Jackson returned the ball deep into Hornet territory before being stopped. Jackson tried to keep the play alive with a lateral, but the ball went in front of him, eliciting a penalty flag. No one noticed the flag as the ball bounced from one player to another before a Lion was able to fall on it to end the half.
The Lions showed no signs of slowing down as the second half got underway.
Mount Ida needed only six plays to traverse 80 yards for an eight yard touchdown run by Bridger Farmer. The PAT was good to give the Lions a 42-6 lead.
Mineral Springs would score again late in the game when Ceaser found Ladarrius Hicks open for an 88 yard touchdown reception. The two point conversion was successful thanks to a pass to Hicks.
Mount Ida moves to 4-0 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. They will host Murfreesboro Friday night for homecoming.
Mineral Springs drops to 0-4 and 0-1 in conference play. They will travel to Mountain Pine Friday night.