by Gary GormanAfter the annual Community BBQ, the Lyons Lions High School football team took the field Friday evening to kick-off the 2011 season; taking on (ironically) the Lutheran Parker Lions at John “Jet” Johnson Memorial Field. Unfortunately, they ran into a catfight.
The Lyons Lions started out strong, shutting down the Lutheran offense, pinning them within the shadow of their own goal posts on the opening drive, and then blocking the punt into the end zone for a two-point safety. The Lyons Lions then took the ensuing free kick, and marched down the field, capping the drive with an eight-yard run into the end zone.Lyons failed on the two-point conversion but still led 8 - 0 halfway into the first quarter.
Lutheran, however, came right back. After returning the kickoff to the fifty-yard line, they charged down the field only to fumble the ball away within a yard or two of the end zone.
Keeping the ball on the ground, with an assortment of keepers and handoffs up the middle by quarterback Jordon Melani, Lyons was able to move the ball well past mid-field before their drive stalled. With some sparkling runs and deep passes, Lutheran scored, but they also failed on the two-point conversion, and the Lyons Lions where still up 8 - 6. A few plays into the next drive, the Lions fumbled the ball and Lutheran scooped up the loose ball and streaked down the sideline for a touchdown. With a (this time)successful two-point conversion. Lyons now trailed 8 - 14.
The two teams battled each other, and penalties throughout the third quarter until Forrest Donnell kicked a thirty-yard field to pull the home team to within three points. The forth quarter settled into a seesaw battle, with neither team really gaining much purchase. With time running out, Lyons finally started to move the ball effectively, and it looked as if they might pull this game out, driving all the way down to within sniffing distance of the goal line. But the Lutheran defense stiffened when it had to, and Coach Nichols called on Donnell to try to tie the game with what would normally, bewith his powerful leg, a “chip-shot” field goal (if there is such a thing with time running out and the game on the line). Fighting a bad cramp in his left (planting) leg from a few plays earlier, Donnell’s kick did not get the height it needed.
The “never-say-die” Lyons team with some stout defense of their own, and a couple of time outs, forced Lutheran to punt the ball back to them. Unfortunately, the ensuing Hail
Mary passes were unsuccessful, and the Lyons Lions had to settle for a tough 11 - 14 loss in their opening game. Coach Nichols was still pleased with his young team’s play, and is happy the Lions have two weeks off to the some of his starters. The Lions’ next game is September 9, in Estes Park.