Defense and the running game are two of the foundations for any successful football team. Early this season, it appears that Lower Moreland have established both and will be tough to beat in the Bicentennial League this season.
The Lions improved to 2-0 in BAL play with a convincing 28-0 win over Calvary Christian. Showing the ability to defense the run or the pass very effectively and dominating with the ground game, the Lions looked like a confident squad that relies on the team concept rather than one or two players. If they keep playing together, the league title is well within reach.
"We have very good running backs and our line has done a great job,' Lower Moreland coach Mark Mayson said. "Our backs execute, run real hard and don't go down easily. We have been doing it over the last three ball games.'
The ground attack of Joe Leventhal, John Chung, Sean Burke, Tyler Hunn and Ryan Killion, all of whom are physical runners, pushed the Calvary offensive line to the brink. It was no surprise that Lower Moreland threw just one pass in the game. The Lions' gave the opposing front problems and punishment, taking full control of the game and never letting up. Relentlessness can be an offense's best friend.
"Our offense rolls with the run,' Killion said. "If it's not working, we're not going to get anywhere. Joe is a dual threat, so that helps. We just need to pound the ball and win the game in the second half. Mr. Mayson does a great job preparing us both physically and with the game plan.'
The Lions had their defense and run game notched up early on in the contest. Peter Ebert quelled the first Calvary drive of the opening quarter with an interception just outside the Lions' red zone. The potent Lower Moreland run game took over from there, using five different backs to ground and pound their way across the field. Eventually it was Chung who punched the ball into the end zone from a yard out, giving his team a 7-0 lead.
Calvary found some success on a drive later in the second quarter, only to be swarmed by an overwhelming Lions defense. The visitors threw the ball to the sides, causing a little confusion for Lower Moreland, but the Lions exploded up the middle when it mattered and created a turn over on downs.
The Lions marched up the field once again after the turnover. Big runs from Leventhal and Killion put Lower Moreland in position to score again. Leventhal made the most of it, plunging in a one-yard keeper to double the Lions' lead. Going into halftime up 14-0, Lower Moreland seemed happy to continue their game plan while Calvary looked a bit beat up.
The Lions picked up right where they left off after halftime. This time, however, it was Hunn leading the drive, running for a total of 33 yards and two first downs during the opening possession of the second half. After Killion got Lower Moreland into the red zone, Leventhal found the end zone on a one-yard touchdown dive to put the Lions up 21-0.
Lower Moreland continued to thrive on defense as well. Although Calvary tried to give the Lions some different looks both on the ground and in the air, its success was limited. The Lions allowed the visitors across half field, but quickly extinguished the drive as Dylan Kanter recorded Lower Moreland's second interception of the game.
"I believe that we can play better than we did today,' Mayson said. "We had a number of mistakes today execution wise, but kids made plays when they needed to. Ryan made a phenomenal run to put the game away. We had a couple big picks that turned their offensive drive around. It seemed like when we really had to have a play, we got it.'
Killion rounded out the Lower Moreland scoring with a bang, dashing 65 yards for a touchdown with seven minutes remaining in the game. It was a fitting end to a great performance by the Lions, one that is sure to keep them confident.
"It all just comes down to who wants it more,' Killion said. "If we play our best game, I don't think anyone in the league can stop us.'
Calvary Christian 0 0 0 0—0
Lower Moreland 7 7 7 7—28
LM: Chung 1 run (Pocrass kick)
LM: Leventhal 1 run (Pocrass kick)
LM: Leventhal 1 run (Pocrass kick)
LM: Killion 65 run (Pocrass kick)
First Downs 11 6
Rushing yardage 118 288
Passing yardage 77 0
Total offense 195 288
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0
Punts 3-35.0 1-55.0
Penalties 8-45 7-35
Calvary Christian: Bires 20-81, Heath 1-13, Reichenbach 3-(-11), Shea 5-33, Kellander 1-2.
Lower Moreland: Killion 10-138, TD; Hunn 7-47, Leventhal 11-55, 2 TD; Chung 6-23, TD; Burke 4-25.
Calvary Christian: Reichenbach 15-7-1—77
Lower Moreland: Leventhal 1-0-0—0
Calvary Christian: Heath 5-40, Bires 1-24, Medvic 1-13.
Lower Moreland: none
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