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District Champ Indians are Playoff Bound

Sophomore # 5 Matthew Howell forces the Lions’ second fumble of the night while # 8 Junior Ethan Cathey finishes the job. (Martha Mericle photo)Sophomore # 5 Matthew Howell forces the Lions’ second fumble of the night while # 8 Junior Ethan Cathey finishes the job. (Martha Mericle photo)

By Jean Parker Rasbeary

When we left Groveton at 5 p.m. on Friday, it was bone dry in Trinity County.
When we reached Lovelady 30 minutes later, the ground was covered with water, the bleachers were drenched, water was standing on the football field and the visitor stands were almost filled. By game time, it was standing room only unless you were smart enough to bring your lawnchairs.

Tension was in the air as both teams warmed up on the field. Groveton won the toss so Lovelady kicked a 29-yard kickoff and Trey Hance carried it 4 yards to Groveton's 31-yard line. Quarterback Glenn Thornton carried for 5 yards was thrown for a 2 yard loss and threw an incomplete pass to Dawson Chumley. Thornton punted a 35-yard punt and Lovelady took over on their own 27-yard line. They tried a sneaky pass play that went incomplete and on the next play, they fumbled and Groveton recovered the ball.

With 4th and 16, Glenn ran for 7 yards so Lovelady took over the ball. On the first play, Groveton jumped offside. Three plays later, Lovelady fumbled again and Groveton recovered the fumble. Finally, the pregame jitters settled down and the Indians went to work. From Lovelady's 20-yard line, Ethan Cathey carried for 2 yards, Glenn ran for 7 and 3 yards and a first down at the 8-yard line. Glenn was thrown for a 1-yard loss and fumbled but the Indians recovered the fumble. From the 9-yard line, Glenn passed to Haden Terry for 9 yards and the first Indian touchdown. The extra point kick by Saul Chavez was good. With 7:16 left in the first quarter, Groveton led 7 – 0. Saul kicked a 41-yard kickoff and the Lions carried it for 11 yards. Lovelady started play on their 29-yard line but 4 plays later, they fumbled again and the Indians recovered it. Groveton started play on the 31-yard line. Glenn completed a 4 yard pass to Eli Stewart, he ran on the next play but came up -4 yards, completed a 5 yard pass to Saul Chavez and a 7 yard pass to Haden Terry. From the Lion's 19 yard line, Groveton's Ethan Cathey ran for 4 yards, Haden Terry ran for 8 yards and an Indian first down at the 7 yard line. Four plays later, Glenn connected with Cathey for a 6-yard pass and Groveton's 2nd score with 2:40 left in the 1st quarter. Chavez kicked the extra point and the score is now 14 – 0. Saul boomed a 50-yard kick off and a Lion took it on the 10-yard line. They carried it 27 yards before fumbling the ball and Groveton recovered the fumble. Groveton started play on their own 37-yard line. Glenn ran for a yard, passed to Terry for an 8-yard gain, ran for 7 yards for a first down on the 48-yard line. Thornton passed to Cathey for 9 yards and to Eli Stewart for a 6-yard gain. At the beginning of the second quarter, the Lions' defense stiffened and Glenn was thrown for a 13-yard loss. With 3rd & 23, Glenn completed a pass to Dawson Chumley for 13 yards and with 4th & 10; he completed a 13-yard pass to Haden Terry for a 1st down at the 24-yard line. Glenn tried a run but suffered a 2-yard loss, and then the Indians did a no-no and held a Lion pushing us back to the 36 yard line. With 2nd and 22, the Indians tried a pass but it was incomplete before Glenn connected with Saul Chavez for a 19-yard gain and then passed to Eli Stewart for a 17-yard touchdown pass! The extra point kick by Chavez was good and with 8:15 left in the second quarter, Groveton led 21 – 0. Groveton tried a little trickery but the onside kick only carried 8 yards so we got a 5-yard penalty and the Lions got the ball on their 39-yard line. Good defensive play by the Groveton Indians Trey Rocka and Elijah Hardeman shut down the Lions and Groveton took over on the 45-yard line.

Glenn Thornton made a great run of 14 yards for a 1st down. Glenn completed a pass to Haden Terry for another 10 yards, had an incomplete pass from the 22-yard line so he took off for another 10 yards. When our guys were tackled, the wet playing surface became a "slip & slide"! From the 12-yard line, Ethan Cathey ran for 5 yards and Glenn carried for 7 yards and another Groveton touchdown. The extra point kick by Saul was good so with 5:00 left until halftime, Groveton led 28 – 0. The Indian's kickoff went out of bounds so we were penalized 5 yards and kicked to the Lions from our 35-yard line. The Lions had a 16-yard return run and the Indians helped them by roughing their quarterback on the first play from scrimmage & being penalized 15 yards. I know everyone was pumped and trying their best to stop them but penalties can kill you, especially in the next games that are so important. Lovelady scored six plays later on a 25-yard pass play and the extra point kick was good so with 3:17 left in the second quarter, the score was Groveton 28 – Lovelady 7. Lovelady tried some trickery also with an onside kick, but Groveton got the ball on their own 45-yard line. Glenn Thornton completed a 50-yard pass to Eli Stewart who out run everyone and scored with 3:05 left in the second quarter. Things got a little hairy right here as the ball came out from the center kinda bouncing so Saul tried to pass the ball but it was intercepted by the Lions and they ran it all the way back for what everyone thought was 2 points for the Lions. But, the referees called it back because the Lions were offside on the extra point try. This time, Glenn passed to Eli Stewart for the two point extra point and now the score was Groveton 36 – Lovelady 7. Saul kicked a 48-yard kickoff and Lovelady carried it 27 yards before our defense stopped them. Good defensive plays by Saul Chavez, Glenn Thornton and Matthew Howell made it hard going for the Lions. Six plays later and one 5-yard penalty, the ball went back to the Indians. Glenn completed a 3-yard pass to Chumley and next play we were called for another 10 yard holding penalty. Glenn completed a 14-yard pass to Haden and tried two rushing plays before the clock ran out and it was halftime. Groveton kicked off to the Lions and they began play on their own 36-yard line. They tried a rushing play for no gain. I watched a referee see Ethan Cathey trying to stop the runner and a guy had his jersey stretched out...holding him... but no call was made even though I mentioned it to him rather loudly. However, it didn't really matter because Saul, Ethan, and Rocka shut them down as they had to punt the ball from their own 35-yard line, one yard from where they started play. Groveton got the ball on their own 24-yard line and up stepped Mr. Ethan Cathey who carried the ball 31 yards, dragging Lions along the way! After a pass play from Glenn to Haden for 10 yards, a 5 yard gain from Glenn to Matthew, an 18 yard gain from Glenn to Saul, an 8 yard run by Ethan and a 9 yard pass from Glenn to Dawson, the Indians scored again. The extra point kick was off to the left so with 7:29 left in the third quarter, the score was Groveton 42 – Lovelady 7. Saul kicked a 40 yard kickoff and the Lions started play on their own 33 yard line...to no avail as Ethan shut down their speedy running back for a -2 yard loss, and two pass plays for no gain resulted in a punt. But, the Indians couldn't move the ball and Glenn sent a 45-yard punt to the Lions 46 yard line. The Lions couldn't make a first down so they punted the ball to Dawson Chumley who carried the ball 41 yards & making one of the Indian's outstanding plays as Dawson hurtled over a Lion defender making the fans roar! From the Lions 39 yard line, Cathey carried for 1 yard, two pass plays netted no yards before Glenn connected with Saul Chavez for a 30 yard run down to the 9 yard line. Mr. Cathey stepped up and carried for 9 yards and another Indian touchdown. The extra point kick by Saul was good so with 1:43 left in the third quarter, Groveton led 49 – 7. Saul Chavez got stronger as the game went on as he kicked the ball 60 yards and the Lions start play on the 20-yard line. They gained 0 yards in three plays so they punted the ball out of bounds at the Indian's 33 yard line. Excitement time again!! Glenn passed to Dawson Chumley for a 67-yard touchdown!! It was beautiful!! The extra point try went wide right so with: 15 seconds left in the third quarter, Groveton led 55 – 7. We really like this 55 point score! Saul kicked off to the Lions but they could only get it to their 49 yard line so the Indians took over from there. Groveton & Lovelady both lost their cool and both were called for an unsportsman penalty. It was offsetting but nobody likes to see that kind of conduct in a game. Groveton only gained 6 yards in this series of downs so Lovelady got the ball back on the 45-yard line. They completed a 55-yard pass play for their second score of the game. The extra point kick was good so with 8:36 left in the game, the score was Groveton 55 – Lovelady 14. Groveton started play on their 30-yard line after a kickoff return of 10 yards by Saul Chavez. Haden ran for 5 yards, 9 yards and passed to Anthony Chavez for 10 yards. He ran for 6 yards, 15 yards and 4 yards but a fumble was recovered by the Lions on the 29-yard line. Seven plays later, Lovelady scored on a 7 yard pass play but the extra point kick was no good. The final score was Groveton 55 – Lovelady 20. What an exciting game and everyone was focused, excited & playing to the best of their ability!! Now, to the business at hand! We have faced our next opponents once this year and fell a little short at the end. We DO NOT WANT THAT TO HAPPEN SATURDAY NIGHT IN WOODVILLE! IF EVERYONE DOES THEIR JOB, EVERY PLAY, THE INDIANS CAN'T BE STOPPED!! We can't look ahead....take this battle ONE STEP AT A TIME!!! TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS and I promise you, this will be the best ride of your lives. Three times before, we have completed this run and the thrill is like no other. YOU CAN DO THIS INDIANS....ON THE WAR PATH IN 2016!!! GO BIG RED!!!