MOUNT IDA – The Mount Ida Lions move to 13-0 with a 56-22 second round victory over Marked Tree in what was a wild and rowdy ball game with the Indians racking up six unsportsmanlike penalties and two personal fouls.
Mount Ida established their dominance early in the game, scoring three times in the first six minutes of the game. They held Marked Tree to six points in the first half with the majority of the opposing team’s points coming against the Lions’ bench in the second half.
Mount Ida’s defense affected their offense’s statistics thanks to several drives starting in Indian territory. The Lions only amassed 222 yards offense with Jonathan Lagrange accounting for the most yards with 70 on 11 carries with one touchdown.
Cade Jackson was the most productive with three touchdowns. He did it on five carries for a net total of 24 yards.
Cade Helms had 10 carries for a touchdown and 62 yards. Bridger Farmer had three carries for 18 yards and a score, and Dallas Weston had a carry for five yards and a TD.
Dawson Huff had two carries for 28 yards, Gage Dyer had a nine yard carry, TJ Walden had a two yard carry, Jaythen Dillon had a one yard carry and Hunter Davis had three carries for negative five yards.
The final score of the night for the Lions came on a special teams play when Hunter Davis scooped up a fumble on a kick for a score.
Tyler Allenbrand went eight for eight on point after attempts.
Champ Saylors set the tone for the Lions on the first play from scrimmage when he flew into the Marked Tree backfield and tackled their quarterback for a nine yard loss. The Indians found themselves in a fourth and 21 situation, forcing them to punt the ball away from their own 24 yard line. Cade Jackson returned the kick to the Indians 29 yard line to set up a short five play drive that ended with a one yard touchdown run by Jonathan Lagrange. Tyler Allenbrand’s PAT was good and the Lions held a seven point lead with 8:32 to go in the first quarter.
Marked Tree quickly turned the ball over with a fumble on the first play of their next drive with Ethan Winkley falling on the ball after a fumbled snap. Jackson called his own number on the first play of the ensuing Mount Ida drive and went 17 yards for the score. Allenbrand’s PAT was good and the Lions held a 14-0 lead with 8:03 left in the first stanza.
The Lion defense once again handed the ball to their offense on the first play of the next Indians drive. This time it was Dallas Weston who came down with an interception and returned it to the Marked Tree 24 yard line before being stopped. Lagrange and Cade Helms took turns moving the ball downfield with Jackson wrapping things up with a five yard scoring run. The PAT was good and the Lions lead was 21-0 with 6:03 left in the first quarter.
Mount Ida’s fourth touchdown of the night came inside the first three minutes of the second quarter. The Lions moved the ball 52 yards in seven plays to score on a four yard run by Jackson. Allenbrand’s PAT was good and the Lions lead was 28-0.
Marked Tree was able to score in the second quarter when Paul Coleman weaved his way through the Lion defense for a 44 yard touchdown run. The two point conversion failed and the Lion lead was 28-6.
Mount Ida received the kick in Indian territory thanks to an unsportsmanlike penalty called on the Indians after the touchdown run. The Lions needed only five plays to traverse 44 yards. Helms ended the drive with a 15 yard touchdown run. Allenbrand hit the PAT and the Lions held a 35-6 lead with 7:24 to go in the first half.
Dallas Weston would be the next to strike for the Lions when he capped a three play 49 yard drive with a six yard touchdown run. The PAT was good and the Lions held a 42-6 lead with 3:37 left in the half.
Cade Jackson gave the Lions an opportunity to add to their lead with an interception which he returned to the Indian 23 yard line. Four plays later Bridger Farmer punched it in from six yards out for the score. The PAT was good and the Lions held a 49-6 lead with 19 seconds left in the half.
Mount Ida’s final score came on the ensuing kick off when Hunter Gilbert’s hit on the Indian player who received the kick jarred the ball loose. Hunter Davis swooped in and grabbed the ball on the run to score the eighth touchdown of the night for Mount Ida with 12 seconds left in the half. Allenbrand’s PAT was good and Mount Ida took a 56-6 lead into the half.
Marked Tree received another unsportsmanlike penalty as they walked off the field which was assessed on the opening kick off of the second half.
Tensions flared in the second half when a group of Marked Tree players jumped on top of a Mount Ida player at the end of a play late in the third quarter. Law enforcement was called to the field to break things up. Two unsportsmanlike penalties were called against Marked Tree during the altercation. A water bottle was thrown onto the field in the direction of a police officer eliciting another penalty. Fortunately the bottle did not strike anyone.
Marked Tree did score twice in the second half after Coach Mike White turned the game over to his bench.
Mount Ida will advance to face Conway Christian in the third round of the 2A state playoffs Friday night. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. at Preston Stidman Field in Mount Ida.
The two met in the second round of the playoffs last year with the Lions claiming a 41-29 victory.
This will be the final home game of the year for the Lions.