Passing kings: Lions lean on aerial attack to hold off Shelby

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A self-destructive offense and a bend-but-not-break defense were the difference when the 2A Kingwood Lions downed the visiting 1A Shelby Academy Raiders 29-20 in a battle of AISA powers last Friday night.

Also making a difference in the contest were the loss of Raiders&8217; quarterback Brad Lovoy, who went out with an injury on the first drive of the game and the potent passing attack led by Lions&8217; quarterback Andrew Pearce.

Pearce completed 14 of 34 attempts for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions.

The Raiders (2-1, 2-0) rushed for 303 yards behind the hard running of Cody Wilson, who had 25 carries for 147 yards, and Rick McBride, who had 23 carries for 112 yards.

Raiders head football coach DeWayne Kervin called Wilson and McBride two &8220;freight trains&8221; and said his team&8217;s offensive line blocked well.

But Kervin&8217;s Raiders also turned the ball over at least four times, three on the first three drives of the game inside the Kingwood 20. &8220;I knew that was going to come back to haunt us,&8221; he said.

&8220;The bottom line is we made too many mistakes,&8221; said Kervin. He also said he thought his defense played pretty well considering that Lovoy was also the team&8217;s best defensive back.

But for all the negatives that affected his team, Kervin said, &8220;I want to give Kingwood credit. They played well and deserved to win the game.&8221;

Kingwood head football coach Jerry Stearns said, &8220;We gave up a lot of yardage defensively.&8221; He added, &8220;I give all of the credit on that to Shelby (Academy). They&8217;ve got a heck of a football team.&8221;

Stearns said, however, &8220;Our kids just hung in there and kept working and kept working and kept working and got us some stops when we needed some stops. I think our defense deserves a lot of credit tonight.&8221;

The Raiders opened the contest with an impressive march only to turn the ball over to Kingwood on a fumble at the Lions&8217; 14-yard line.

Kingwood went on to score on a 28-yard pass from Pearce to Cody Owens. Pearce added the point after for good measure, and the Lions led 7-0 with 3:33 left in the first quarter.

The Raiders&8217; next drive also ended on a fumble at the Kingwood 15-yard line.

Parke Rockco later picked off a Kingwood pass to give the Raiders another scoring opportunity.

But yet another fumble, this time at the Kingwood 9-yard line, ended the Raiders&8217; hopes.

Next, Wilson ran 11 yards for a touchdown and scampered in on the 2-point play to put the Raiders up 8-7 at the half.

Kingwood went on to build a 22-8 lead, but the Raiders refused to go away. With 6:33 left in the game, Wilson scored on a 10-yard run. The 2-point play was no good and the Lions held the lead at 22-20.

The Lions sealed the win on a 29-yard pass from Pearce to John Butts who

fumbled on the one-yard line. Owens recovered the ball in the endzone for a Kingwood touchdown. With the PAT good, the Lions celebrated a 29-20 victory.

Stearns called the play of quarterback Pearce and receiver Owens, who had six receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns &8220;typical.&8221;

Kingwood (3-0, 1-0) put up 302 total yards of total offense with just 81 of those yards coming on the ground.

The Lions&8217; Butts had six receptions for 71 yards, five tackles and one assist while Jeremy Beauchamp had six tackles and one assist and both Owens and Jonathan Newton had five tackles and one assist.

The Raiders passed for 21 yards of their 324 yards total offense.

McBride had five tackles and one interception, Lovelady had five tackles and Rockco had three tackles and one interception for Shelby Academy