Kenneth Johnson returned an interception 88 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the game and the Liberty Hill seventh-grade A-team Lions stunned the Patterson Cavaliers 25-19 in the teams’ season opener on Tuesday.
Liberty Hill answered each of Patterson’s three TDs with TDs of their own, but the Lions never led until Johnson’s defensive heroics.
Patterson scored on the first play of the game and led 13-6 at halftime.
Juan Cavello scored on a 10-yard run for Liberty Hill in the first quarter.
The Lions tied the score at 13 in the third quarter on Marquis Jones’ 28-yard run. Cavello added the one-point conversion.
Patterson went back in front in the fourth quarter with another touchdown. But the Lions answered again late in the game with Jones catching a 36-yard pass from Cavello.
The Cavs had one last chance to go down and break the tie with less than 2 minutes remaining before Johnson got in the way.
Ashton Black also contributed offensively for Liberty Hill. Brayden Lecompte and Jayden Cupitt were other defensive standouts.
The seventh-grade Lions travel to Eastern Hills on Tuesday.
UNION GROVE 7A 39, NOLAN 7A 20: Elijah Gibson scored four touchdowns and the Grizzlies won their season opener.
Union Grove got off to a fast start, getting a defensive stop and scoring on their first offensive snap when Gibson raced 60 yards for a score.
Jaylen Mason also had a long touchdown, and Gilbert Vela scored on a TD pass from TJ Hocutt.
Leading the way for a productive offense were linemen Jayden Evans, Davari Mosley, Shaun Lawrence, DeAndre Williamson and Jordan Hamilton). David Blount, Gabriel Merriman and Cannon Culp also caught passes. Hocutt finished with 60 yards passing and two 1-point conversions.
Cannon Culp, Corey McMillian, Samad Cook and Kaden Vang led the defense with multiple sacks.
The seventh-grade Grizzlies host Patterson for their home opener.
PATTERSON 7B 19, LIBERTY HILL 7B 0: At Patterson, the Cavaliers scored on the first play from scrimmage and went on to shut out the Lions in the teams’ season opener.
Patterson added another rushing touchdown in the second quarter and led 13-0 at halftime.
The Lions had a 92-yard TD run by Noah Pineda called back due to a holding penalty in the fourth quarter. Two plays later Patterson returned an interception for a score.
Christopher Murrell and Jaylen Lewis were other standouts for Liberty Hill. Peneda, Isaiah Eversley and Khalil Chaney led the defense.
UNION GROVE 8A 27, NOLAN 8A 0: Josh Mallard scored three times and the Grizzlies rolled to a win in their season opener.
Kai McMillan scored on a long pass from Tyler Johnson and grabbed an interception.
The offensive surge was led by center Nathan Stansbury, guards Jeremiah Coleman and George Loomos and tackles Amauri Enoe and Curtis Latham.
Jovany Charqueno-Carbajal was a defensive standout.
Union Grove’s eighth-graders travel to Patterson on Tuesday.
MIDDLE SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL
NOLAN 7A DEF. UNION GROVE 7A 25-18, 25-15: Gabrielle Kenworthy served five points for the defeated Grizzlies.
Other scorers were Zaina Wilder (three points), Amaiah Amani (two) and Bevin Parker and Charli Wozniak (one each).
NOLAN 7B DEF. UNION GROVE 7B 25-19, 25-19: Karis Jefferson served five points to lead the defeated Grizzlies.
Brittany Abara added three points, and Re’Vynn Sanford had one. Hailea Vega was a defensive standout.
UNION GROVE 8B DEF. NOLAN 8B 21-25, 25-22, 25-22: At Nolan, Kaylee Baxter served 24 points and the Grizzlies rallied for a season-opening victory.
Kaymora Labeach added eight points for Union Grove. Kayla Reyes (five), Ruby Cvek (three) and Leila Tuala (one) also contributed to the scoring.
UNION GROVE 8A DEF. NOLAN 8A 22-25, 25-13, 25-14: At Nolan, Trillion Collins served 13 points and the Grizzlies regrouped for a season-opening victory after dropping the opening set.
Nasya McGinnis added 10 points for Union Grove. Other scorers were Ava Perry (six), Camia Mateo (four), Alyssa Allsup and Amaya Rich (three each) and Tra'Lesia Williams (one).
The eighth-grade Grizzlies travel to Patterson today.
SALADO FRESHMEN DEF. WACO UNIVERSITY 25-14, 25-15: At Waco, front-row play by Grace Clemons and Isabella Dworaczyk led the charge for Salado.
Caelyn Houston also turned in another great game.
SALADO JV DEF. CHINA SPRING 25-17, 25-20: Joanna Steigerwalt recorded 11 digs to help the Lady Eagles win in a sweep.
Sophomore Harley Droulliard and freshmen Bri Waters kept the Lady Cougar defense off-balance all night with their hitting. Setter Paige Farris turned in another outstanding performance.
SALADO JV DEF. LAGO VISTA 25-18, 25-11: At Salado, Farris tallied eight digs and 12 assists in the Lady Eagles’ sweep. Savvy Oylver also contributed from the back row.
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