The Laurence Manning Academy Swampcats were undefeated and were looking to continue their hot streak but were denied by the Augusta Christian School Lions 26-14, Friday night.
“Credit Augusta Christian. They made plays,” said LMA Head Coach Ken Kellahan. “We looked a little flat coming out. Augusta Christian’s a good football team and we’ve got to give credit to them. Good teams make things happen for them and they did it.”
The Swampcats came into Friday night’s game riding a four-game winning streak and were aiming for No. 5 against the Lions; however a stiff defense and missed opportunities were the culprit for the loss.
The game did not start out well for LMA as they allowed Augusta Christian lightning to start with.
They methodically moved the rock a few yards at a time and got the ball to their own 48-yard line.
On first down, quarterback Tyler Roberson found Matt Rogers streaking down the sideline for the game’s first touchdown.
The point after was good and the Lions held an early 7-0 lead with 9:08 left in the first quarter.
The Swampcats got the ball and began their possession at their own 33.
On third-and-one, the Swampcats lost five yards and were forced to punt the ball back to the Lions.
Augusta Christian wasted no time as they again got six points.
In just three plays, Roberson again connected with Rogers for an 80-yard scoring strike and 14-0 lead with 5:03 still in the first quarter.
The teams exchanged possessions the remainder of the quarter and the Lions held a 14-0 lead going into the second.
Laurence Manning looked to be threatening late in the second as they began a drive at their own 45-yard line and using Reco Simms and Ryan McNair to tote the rock, they got the ball to the Lions’ 31-yard line.
However, the Swampcats fumbled the ball away on the next play.
ACS got the ball but were forced by LMA to punt it away and the ‘Cats again had the ball deep in their own territory.
After gaining just one yard in two plays, Patrick Anderson connected with Ryan Anderson for a 41-yard gain to the Augusta Christian 20-yard line.
Another pass to McNair got the ball inside the 20.
On second-and-10, Patrick Anderson found Preston Minton floating in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
Patrick Burns hit the PAT and LMA trailed 14-7 with 3:09 until the break.
Augusta Christian got the ensuing possession and tried their best at another scoring drive.
They began at their 20-yard line and moved the ball to the Swampcats’ 31-yard line in 10 plays while converting three first downs.
With 10 seconds to go before the half, ACS opted for a 48-yard field goal attempt.
The kick was no good and they held their 14-7 lead going into the break.
The first half of the third quarter was a case of turnovers for both teams.
The Swampcats received the ball but fumbled it away after three plays and the Lions coughed it up three plays later. Thomas Walker fell on the ball for LMA.
They again had life, however their drive began in the shadow of their own goal-post at the one-yard line.
They got the ball out to the 10-yard line, but could not convert and punted the ball away.
Augusta Christian got the ball and with a single play, Thomas Banks raced 51 yards for a score and 20-7 lead.
A fumble was also the result of the Cats’ next drive and ACS took over possession at the LMA 38.
They again methodically moved the ball using an eight-play drive ending with an 18-yard run from Christian Croft with 4:28 to play in the third.
The Swampcats swarmed the point after and blocked it and trailed 26-7.
Laurence Manning Academy got the ball but were denied much success and punted the ball back to ACS late in the third.
They looked to be threatening again but on a long second down, the Lions’ mishandled the ball and it fell on the ground.
Reco Simms scooped up the loose ball and ran 40 yards the other way for a touchdown.
The PAT was good and LMA trailed 26-14 with 39 seconds to go in the third.
However, that is as close as they got.
Despite recovering another fumble in the fourth quarter, the Swampcats could not muster another score.
The Lions got the ball and ran out the clock.
Ryan Anderson led in receiving yards with 41 yards on one reception, Minton had 29 yards on two catches and McNair had 19 yards on four receptions.
Laurence Manning Academy will travel and play at Cardinal Newman this week.