MOUNT IDA – The Mount Ida Lions opened the second season with an impressive 45-0 shut out victory over the Des Arc Eagles in the first round of the 2A state playoffs.
The Lions were dominant on both sides of the ball with the offense amassing 270 yards and four touchdowns on 42 carries and three completed passes.
Jonathan Lagrange, who was named 42/7 Sports 2A Heisman Player of the Year earlier in the week, led the team with seven carries for 60 yards and three TDs. Cade Jackson scored the fourth offensive touchdown, carrying the ball five times for 30 yards.
Dallas Weston had five carries for 56 yards, Dawson Huff had five carries for 29 yards, Hunter Davis had five carries for 15 yards and TJ Walden had five carries for a yard.
Bryson Huff had three carries for 20 yards, Ridge Gibbs had two carries for six yards, and Ty Abernathy had two carries for a yard. Jaythan Dillon and Austin Cooper each had a carry for four yards and Cade Helms had a three yard carry.
Dawson Huff had a 33 yard reception, Cade Jackson had a five yard reception and Dallas Weston had one for three yards.
Defensively the Lions scored twice on fumbles and recovered four of five Eagle fumbles in the first half. Cade Helms had a 27 yard touchdown on a scoop and score and Champ Saylors had a 40 yard scoop and score. Saylors had two fumble recoveries in all with Hunter Gilbert accounting for the fourth fumble recovery.
The Lions held Des Arc to just 51 yards of total offense, 39 on the ground and 12 in the air. Cade Jackson recorded two interceptions in the first half.
Special teams accounted for nine points on the night with Tyler Allenbrand hitting six of six PATs and a 38 yard field goal.
Des Arc opened the game with the ball on their own 17, but they coughed the ball up on the first snap from scrimmage. Champ Saylors fell on the ball in the back field and the Lions had possession on the Eagle nine yard line with 16 ticks gone on the clock.
Jonathan Lagrange and Cade Helms alternated carries with Lagrange getting the first points on the board with a three yard run. Allenbrand’s PAT was good and the Lions held a 7-0 lead with just under a minute and a half gone on the clock.
Des Arc started the next drive on their 19 yard line and quickly moved the chains for a first and 10 on the 30. The second fumble of the game occurred on the next play. The ball hit the ground on a hand off attempt and Helms scooped it up and scored from 27 yards out. The PAT was good and Mount Ida was up 14-0 with 9:20 to go in the first quarter.
Des Arc brought the ensuing kick off out to the 50, but two plays in turned the ball over when Hunter Gilbert fell on a fumble on the Eagle 44 yard line.
Eight plays later Cade Jackson carried the ball into the end zone from four yards out with 6:15 to go in the first quarter. Allenbrand’s PAT was good and the Lions lead was at 21.
Mount Ida took over again after a Des Arc punt. This time they started on their own 44 yard line. They needed only seven plays this drive with Lagrange carrying the ball in from 18 yards out for the fourth score of the night. Allenbrand’s PAT was good and the Lions held a 28-0 lead with 1:38 to go in the first quarter.
Des Arc was able to return the ball near midfield on the kick off and worked their way to the Lion 45 before an illegal procedure penalty moved them back to the 50. On third and 15 the Eagles turned the ball over again when Saylors blasted through the middle and knocked the ball loose. He grabbed it on the bounce and took it 40 yards for a touchdown. Allenbrand hit the PAT and Mount Ida increased their lead to 35 points with 10:44 to go in the first half.
The two teams would trade possessions before Des Arc was able to move into the red zone for the first time of the night. Des Arc made it as far as the nine yard line before a fumble moved the line of scrimmage to the Lion 12. Jackson picked a pass out of the air on a fourth and nine and raced to the 24 before being stopped.
Ridge Gibbs took the reins under center and moved the Lions down field. A pass to Dawson Huff moved Mount Ida into Eagle territory and five plays later Lagrange ran it in from nine yards out for his third score of the night.
Jackson would end the first half on an interception.
The second half belonged to the second and third stringers as the two teams played with a moving clock thanks to the sportsmanship rule.
The only points of the night came on a 38 yard field goal off the toe of Tyler Allenbrand with 8:06 to go in the fourth quarter.
Mount Ida moves to 11-0 for the year and will host Marked Tree Friday night at Preston Stidman Field in Mount Ida. Kick off will be at 7 p.m.