By Brian Besch
Turnovers and a special team mAs the rains continued to fall Friday night in Splendora, the visitors’ score continued to rise. Livingston football took a convincing 58-6 win over their rivals behind a smothering defense and power run game.
The contest was never close, as Livingston (2-2, 4-5) scored touchdowns on their first three drives and hit a 32-yard field goal on its fourth for a 24-0 lead.
Splendora did get six points on the board when a pass was just out of the reach of defensive back Ta McNeal, going into the half at 24-6.
Livingston’s defense was stifling. Splendora (0-4, 1-8) ran the ball 20 times for negative 29 yards. Wildcat quarterback Harrison Facundo threw 26 times, completing just seven passes for 65 yards. For the night, Splendora had 36 yards of total offense. Chevy Peters, Javean Gardner Zaylon Bogany, Ziekus Garner, McNeal and Ja’Tarius Randolph continuously made plays for the mean green defense.
“It is the best coverage that we have had in a while,” Livingston coach Finis Vanover said. “Our front was pretty dang dominant. They like playing the game, they like playing in our defense, and they love playing for those coaches.”
McNeal threw two touchdown passes in the first half, one a 26-yard strike to Peters and the other a 34-yard pass to Gardner. There was not a Lion pass thrown in the second half. Zachary Williams ran the first Livingston score in from 28 yards.
The second half was more of the same, as McNeal, Zachary Williams, Damorian Hill, Copeland Bush and Trent Quinn all scored touchdowns. The Lions produced a touchdown on each drive of the second half until their final possession, where they kneeled out the clock.
Quinn ran for his season high of 101 yards on 15 carries and Zachary Williams toted the ball four times for 57 yards, scoring on half of his attempts. The Lions had 411 total yards of offense, with 327 of that on the ground.
“They prepared themselves and showed up to play. We challenged them all week to not let anything go wrong and be the best team,” Vanover said of his squad. “We needed to expect to be the best team and dominate the line of scrimmage. Our secondary kids started making plays. The offense was wonderful and we did a lot of good things. Every kid on the sidelines played at least a quarter and a half.”
Livingston will now move on to play District 10-4A’s top team in Lumberton. Barring a wild final week that has Vidor losing to Splendora and Hargrave defeating Little Cypress-Mauriceville, the Lions are playoff bound.
“There is no pressure and next week we need to just pull out all the stops and be as physical and aggressive as we can,” the coach said of next week with the Raiders.
“They are the bad boys on the block right now and they deserve it. Since they were in the eighth grade, they have been bullying everybody in our region. It is important that we give it our best shot, and that is what we intend to do. We are going to practice to win. The big one was tonight, because it is a traditional rivalry between us and Splendora and the fact that this one puts us in.”
Vidor 48 Huffman Hargrave 34
Lumberton 41 LC-M 7
Shepherd 28 Coldspring 8
Porter 28 Baytown Lee 7
PA Memorial 21 Barbers Hill 7
Hamshire-Fannett 40 Liberty 7
Summer Creek 24 C.E. King 21
Humble 22 Kingwood 19
Crosby 49 LaPorte 42
The Woodlands 42 Willis 28
Jasper 28 Hardin-Jefferson 8
PN-G 26 Nederland 24