Horns edge Eagles 21-14

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 31, 2005

YORK-A strong defensive performance by Nic Laduron and punishing runs from Drew Robison and the entire Longhorn backfield helped Marengo Academy pound out a 21-14 win at Sumter Academy last night.

The Longhorn defense was solid throughout the game forcing multiple turnovers, three of which Laduron would come up with. All the while the trio of Robison Andy Flowers and John Cox Miller moved the chains ad the clock.

Though the night would belong to the Longhorns it was Sumter who would get on the scoreboard first. On the Eagles third play from scrimmage Matt Boler broke through the Longhorn defense and sprinted 91 yards for the score. Brandon Briggs hit the extra point and with 9:03 remaining in the first the Eagles held a 7-0 lead.

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The Longhorns were not phased by the Eagles fast start. Marengo came out on their second possession riding Robison for a 10-play 55-yard drive. Robison seemed to have a play up his sleeve every time it was needed on the drive as he would convert a fourth and 2 play for 12-yards to keep the drive alive. Another fourth down conversion for the Longhorns would also lead to their first points when quarterback John Cox Miller took a fourth and 1 play at the 9 yard line all the way to bring Marengo within one point. The point after attempt by Ty Glass was blocked leaving the Eagles with a one-point lead.

The lead would not last long. Marengo’s Jeremy Averette fell on an Eagle fumble at the 31 yard line giving Marengo a short field. The Longhorns knew exactly what to do with it as Robison plowed through Sumter defenders for a 25 yard score to give Marengo the lead for good 12-7. Robison added the two point conversion to make Marengo’s lead an even seven and set the tone for the rest of the game.

Both teams were fairly quiet through the second half. The Eagles moved the ball at times, but each drive ended with a miscue. A Laduron interception a fumble recovery and defensive stands turned strong Eagle drives back three times when it seemed as if they were on their way to the endzone.

It would be a fumble recovery by Laduron on a punt that would lead to Marengo’s winning points. After a Sumter defender bobbled the ball Laduron was on the spot to set the Marengo offense up at the Eagle 17 yard line. The Longhorns would convert a fourth and inches before Flowers found the endzone on a 4 yard touchdown to make the score 20-7. Glass would convert the extra point to give Marengo a 21-7 lead with 2:02 remaining in the game.

At that point the cold Eagle offense heated up. Sumter’s offense, which had been steadily moving the ball down the field all night took a different approach. This time they went for the quick score and converted on a middle screen from Hunter Spidle to Boler that covered 55 yards. Briggs again converted the extra point to make the score 21-14 with 1:36 on the clock.

The Eagles attempted an onside kick, but Marengo was able to pounce on the ball to preserve the win. Sumter, who finished the regular season at 4-6, will hit the road next week for the first round of the AISA 1-A playoffs. Their opponent will be announced today.

Marengo ended the season at 3-7.