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Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke Clayton
April 16, 2024

OLDER SPORTSMEN HAVE MORE FUN

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke ClaytonThere was a time back when I was in my twenties and thirties that I thought I would be hanging…
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April 13, 2024

Close-to-home fun

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
As an outdoors writer for the past 39 years, I’ve become accustomed to “gallavanting” around the country fishing, hunting and collecting material for my articles. Lately though, I’ve been sticking pretty close to home. Kenneth Shephard with a good “eater…

First half dooms opener

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Damorian Hill hands off to Jeremy Bennett, who had 50 yards on just five carries.Damorian Hill hands off to Jeremy Bennett, who had 50 yards on just five carries.

By Brian Besch

The 2023 football season did not start as the Livingston Lions planned, on the short end of a 44-21 score Friday night in Bellaire.

The Livingston offense had trouble getting started, going three-and-out on both of their first two drives. Meanwhile, Episcopal star Karson Gordon tossed touchdown passes of 29 and 26 yards to go up 14-0.

A fumble on the next kickoff put the Knights in favorable field position to go up 21-0 on a Brandon Thomas 9-yard run.

Livingston had its best drive of the first half at the end of the first quarter, marching 14 plays. However, quarterback Damorian Hill’s first pass of the game sailed over the slot receiver on a hitch. It was picked off and returned 81 yards for a 28-0 lead.

Another fumble on the next kickoff set up another Thomas scoring run, this time from two yards. One more three-and-out gave Episcopal possession at the 36-yard line. Taking it in from eight yards out, the Knights enjoyed a 41-0 lead at the half.

“A tale of two teams. That is all we talked about at halftime,” Livingston coach Finis Vanover said. “We told them to just forget it. We lost the first half and we looked like crap doing it, but is that who we really are? If it is, we need to go ahead and turn it in and ask the UIL to let us go. Or, we can get back out here and face manhood and face adversity. We had to grow up a bit and be tough and play together to win the second half. We can’t ask for any more. They played their butts off in the second half.”

Several backups now in the game, it looked as though Episcopal would pick up where they left off in the first half. A 10-play drive ended with a 27-yard field goal and a 44-0 mark.

The Lions, however, would respond. On the seventh play of their next possession, Hill went down with an injury during a quarterback sneak. Backup Tyler Soza (6-87, TD rushing) entered and promptly took a bootleg 43 yards for the touchdown.

Vanover said there would not be a new starter at quarterback, as it weakens the defensive side of the ball, where Soza is a star at multiple positions. He also has confidence in Hill’s ability to lead the offense. 

“He is very talented and can run like a deer,” he said of Soza. “Right off the bat, we saw it; he has a burst. Athletically, he is ahead of Money (Hill) because of his pure speed. That is an asset in this offense, but Money’s abilities to run the offense is good and it gives us two separate guys. We’ve got two quarterbacks that can both do a bunch of things really good. I’ll take that any day of the week.”

Livingston started their next drive in excellent field position, on their own 49. Six plays later, Jerren James (13-70, 2 TDs) scored from two yards away, cutting the score to 44-14.

Putting their final points on the board with four minutes remaining, James again found the end zone, breaking a few tackles and rambling 41 yards downfield to cross the goal line. 

Along with turnovers, field position played the biggest role in the Episcopal success. The Knights’ worst starting field position in the first half was their own 43. They had 41 points in two quarters of play, while only needing 202 total yards to earn them.

“We would make a big play and then give it back to them. We just dropped the ball – just dropped it. We did a better job in the second half – we blocked, we ran the ball, we picked up those blitzes. They’ve got a great team over there with nine returning starters on that defense. We knew we were going to be in for it.”

The second half could serve as positive reinforcement for a team that desperately needed it at halftime. Needville is the next opponent and will also be a steep challenge.

“We got crushed in the first half and it was embarrassing. They realized it and accepted it and handled it like young men. They came out and won the second half and that’s all we asked them to do. It gives us a head start on next week by winning this half.”

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