Longhorns hold off pesky Titans

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 27, 2004

It was a game that came down to the final ticks and there was only one key factor that chose the winner: turnovers.

Due to six fumbles in the game by the Titans, the Marengo Academy Longhorns came out victorious in a 19-16 win on Thursday night in Demopolis.

“We were lucky to win, I’ll tell you that much,” Longhorns head coach Jesse Little said.

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“If it hadn’t been for all the turnovers, we would not have won the game.

But I’m proud of our boys for not quitting.”

The Titans out-played, out-hit, and out-did the Longhorns, but there was just nothing they could do about holding onto the ball.

“We had six turnovers,” Titans head coach Bob Taylor said.

“Two of them were inside the 5-yard-line, and that’s the bottom line.

We had too many turnovers and they made the plays and we didn’t.”

Twice while in the red-zone and threatening to score, the Titans lost the ball; once on the 4-yard-line and then later in the game on the 3-yard-line.

For the first time in 75 years, the Titans were on top of the Longhorns, leading 8-7 after a 2-point-conversition with 6:27 remaining in the first half.

“The effort was there,” Taylor said.

“Marengo knows how to win and we’re trying to get there.

But I’m proud of my kids.

They played hard and they left their hearts out there.”

The Titans defense was incredible, holding the Longhorns to only 3 touchdowns with two failed two-point-conversion.

At halftime, West Alabama Prep led in the game 8-7.

With 5:07 left in the third quarter, the Longhorn’s Drew Robinson ran into the end zone to put Marengo Academy on top, 13-8.

After a failed two-point-conversion and a punt, the Titans took over on the 38-yard-line.

When Titans’ quarterback Wesley Ballard sailed a pass to a diving Charlie Lee, the fans were on their feet and looking for a touchdown.

After again fumbling the ball on the 23-yard-line, but recovering it, Ballard ran around the left end for the first down at the 9-yard-line.

After getting nailed in the air on the following possession, the referees called a controversial fumble that gave the ball back to the Longhorns.

At the end of three quarters, the score was still settled at 13-8.

And the Titans came out pumped-up to start the fourth quarter.

After a punt was downed at the 35-yard-line, Ballard tosses a beautiful pass that was deflected by the defense and into the hands of Lee.

On a critical 4th and 8 with 9:14 remaining in the game, Lee made an amazing grab to give the Titans new life and a 1st down.

With 2nd and goal at the 9-yard-line, Ballard took the ball straight up the middle and into the end zone to make it 14-13 Titans.

After making the two-point conversion, West Alabama Prep lead in the game, 16-13.

The Longhorns followed with a 58-yard touchdown run by Ward Jones with 6:53 remaining in the game.

After failing to make the two-point-conversion, the Longhorns lead 19-16.

With the crowd on their feet and cheering for their Titans, West Alabama Prep took over with good field position at the 40-yard-line.

Sitting on 3rd and 4 and threatening to score, the Titans fumbled the ball with 5:40 remaining, turning the ball over to the Longhorns.

After making some tremendous stops on defense, the Titans again got another chance on offense when they downed a punt at the 17-yard-line with a little over 3:00 remaining in the game.

And again, Lee made an amazing grab on a 39-yard pass to put the Titans at the 41-yard-line.

On the following play, a bad snap resulted in yet another Titans turnover with 2:30 left.

After failing to stop the Longhorns from getting a 1st down, Marengo Academy knelt the ball and the game came to a close.