The first half saw the makings of a fierce defensive battle. Both the Eagles’ and the Lions’ lone scores of the half came in the 1st quarter with Pettus drawing first blood. On the Eagles’ opening drive, with 9:40 on the clock, senior quarterback Ryan Beck connected with junior wide receiver Casey Jones for a 12-yard touchdown pass. Beck would tack on the extra point to give Pettus an early 7-0 edge. The Lions would roar back with 4:27 to go as senior running back Deon Mayberry scored on a 25-yard run. Junior receiver Weston Hallmark would convert on the PAT to tie the game at 7-7, a score that would stand into halftime as both teams traded possessions throughout the remainder of the half.
The Eagles would start the second half in a major way as sophomore kick returner Josh Herrera received the kickoff and took it 95 yards to the end zone for the Eagles’ touchdown. The extra point, however, was no good, making the score 13-7. Later in the 3rd quarter, with 5:55 left, Beck and Jones would connect on their second passing touchdown of the game, this time from 17 yards out. Beck’s kick this time was true, giving the Eagles a 20-6 lead heading into the 4th quarter. In the final quarter of play, the Lions would not concede the game so easily. With 10:11 on the clock, junior quarterback Rolie Zepeda threw a pass to senior wide receiver Tristan Mejia for the 20-yard score. The extra point failed to find its mark as a result of a bad snap, leaving the score at 20-13. This would not be the Lions’ last score of the night as the defense made a statement of its own, pinning the Eagles deep in their own territory. Pettus was unable to escape that predicament and the Lions’ defense came away with a safety with senior linebacker Sergio Morales making the stop and making the score 20-15 with 6:11 to go. The Eagles’ defense would make a stand of its own on the ensuing Kenedy possession, claiming a turnover on downs to get the ball back and run out the clock to secure the win.
By night’s end, both teams held their own statistically. The Lions ended the night with 225 yards of total offense, gaining 125 on the ground and 100 through the air. The Eagles also had a good showing with 219 yards of total offense, with 67 rushing and 152 passing. Penalties were not abundant during the game as Kenedy was penalized 3 times for 25 yards and Pettus was called 5 times for 25 yards. What was crucial to determining the outcome was the turnover battle, with Kenedy losing three fumbles and Pettus losing only one fumble. “Pettus loaded up on us,” said Havron. “We’re going to have to be balanced. We made some mistakes but we’ll get better as we go. We played well enough to win.”
Next week the Lions will travel to Runge to face the Yellow Jackets in a cross-county showdown between the only two teams in Karnes County to date with a victory in the 2011 season. “We’re looking to work our game plan and continue to improve,” Havron said. “We’re trying to get better each week. Again, we’ve got to have everything balanced.” Kickoff in Runge is set for Friday, September 9th, at 7:30 PM.