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Lions' football team drops 17-14 decision to Manchester College on Homecoming 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012
by Dane Neumeister

Manchester College scored a late third quarter touchdown, and came up with a key defensive stop on third down near the end of the game, as they held off the Lions, 17-14 in the Mount's 2012 Homecoming game. The Lions, 3-4 overall, 2-4 in the HCAC, resume action on Oct. 27 when they host Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

The Spartans jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the game, thanks to a 40-yard field goal and a one-yard TD run, with both coming in the first quarter. James Clay (Louisville, KY/duPont Manual) got the Lions on the scoreboard with 6:29 to play in the second quarter when he raced 84 yards for a score. Daniel Dripps (Wapakoneta, OH/Wapakoneta) added the PAT kick to cut the deficit to 10-7. The two teams would enter the locker rooms at the half with that as the score. After a solid start, the Spartans, who had the ball for eight possessions in the first half, saw their final six drives end with four punts, a fumble and an interception. The Lions, meanwhile, after a slow start, had five of their first half possessions end with a punt.

Clay would cap a six-play, 36-yard drive at the 5:06 mark of third quarter with a 15-yard TD gallop, and Dripps' PAT kick, would give the Lions a 14-10 advantage. Manchester, however, would answer that score when they completed a 35-yard TD pass play with just 13 seconds to play in the third quarter, giving them a 17-14 lead.

The Lions first two drives of the fourth quarter, totaling 46 yards total, both ended in punts, and after the Mount's Tyler Elrod (Harrison, OH/Harrison) intercepted a pass at the Mount 46-yard line with 6:10 to play, the Lions took over the ball, looking to drive for a tying or go-ahead score.

Clay and the Lions' rushing attack went to work, driving the ball down to othe Manchester 23-yard line, but the drive was halted there when the Mount came up short on a fourth-and-three play. Manchester ran out the clock and claimed the win, their fourth of the season and just their fourth in the all-time series against the Lions. The Mount had won the last 10 games in the all-time series.

Clay, the nation's leading rusher, recorded his sixth, 200-plus yard rushing game of the season, finishing with 257 yards on the ground on 34 carries. The Lions rushed for 309 yards as a team, recording 325 yards of total offense. Manchester had 249 yards rushing and 112 yards passing. The Mount was just five-of-12 passing for 16 yards. Clay and teammate Joseph Lowe (Westlake, OH/Westlake) each had two receptions. Clay totaled 321 yards of total offense in the game.

The Mount's defense was led by Cam Dierig (Ft. Thomas, KY/Highlands), who had 12 tackles, including two for loss yards; and Joe Frakes (Columbus, OH/Hamilton Township), who had 11 tackles, and a forced fumble. Konnor Blevins (Cincinnati, OH/Lakota West) added an interception and 11 tackles.

Manchester had the edge in first downs, 20-14, total yards, 361-325 and time of possession, 32:54-27:06. The Spartans were five-of-13 on third down, while the Lions converted four-of-12 on third down and was zero-for-two on fourth down.

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