LEBANON — Lebanon used a balanced offense to defeat North Montgomery 35-30 sending their Homecoming crowd home happy. The Tigers found success early with their running game to take an early lead and never surrendered the lead to the Chargers.
The scouting report on Lebanon (1-3, 1-0 SAC) was that they were a passing team. On Friday night it was the running game that took North Montgomery (2-2, 1-1 SAC) by surprise.
Charger coach Josh Thompson said it took his squad the whole first quarter to make the defensive adjustments. In fact, he did not see the fire in his team early in the game.
“We did not come out with the same intensity that we had last week and we dug too much of a whole that we could not get out,” Charger coach Josh Thompson said. “It did surprise me a little bit (the Lebanon running game) and unfortunately it took a full quarter to start playing the game on the defensive side of the ball.”
After a Charger penalty that negated an interception, Lebanon senior found pay dirt from two yards out to put the home team on the board first with 5:09 left in the initial quarter.
The Chargers got a break at the end of the first period. Lebanon fumbled a punt attempt and Charger senior Keifer Carmean scooped up the loose football and rumbled 48 yards for the score. After a failed two-point conversion the Chargers trailed 7-6.
In the second quarter Tiger junior JC Reese hauled in the first of three touchdown passes from junior Garrett Harker from 24 yards out to put Lebanon up 14-6.
North Montgomery responded with another score after blocking a punt with under a minute in the half. Charger quarterback Jaron Bradford found Carmean for a seven-yard strike followed by a two-point pass conversion from Bradford to Kade Kobel to knot the score at 14 apiece at the half.
North Montgomery had a chance to gain more momentum when Lebanon fumbled the ball away on their 35-yard line early in the third quarter, but as was the case on other occasions when the Chargers had the ball deep in Tiger territory, they came up empty. During the game, the Chargers failed to score four times inside the Tiger 30-yard line.
The Tigers were led by Reese who scored on three touchdown passes from Harker including a 77-yard pass that put Lebanon up 28-14 with 3:19 left in the third quarter.
Kobel scored on a 7-yard scramble late in the third quarter to keep his team in the game. The score entering the final period was 28-22 entering the final quarter.
Both teams scored in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
“We never did take advantage of all the opportunities Lebanon gave us,” Thompson said. “On both sides of the ball we had missed opportunities tonight. We have to make plays and capitalize on the opponents’ mistakes.”
Early Momentum Swing
Lebanon was driving toward the end zone on the game’s first possession in the first quarter. The Tigers started with the ball on their own 19-yard line and marched it to the 2-yard line. Lebanon quarterback Garrett Harker threw the ball on a second-and-six play which Charger Kade Kobel intercepted the in the flat and ran the entire field for a 100-yard score. However, a yellow flag called the play back.
The Tigers retained the ball on the 3-yard line and scored when Tiger Drew Wilson ran the ball for the score. Within a matter of five seconds the Chargers thought they had the early lead to only see Lebanon take the early 7-0 lead and the early momentum.
In Wilson Lebanon trusts
When the Tigers needed to keep the clock running, they turned to their senior running back, Drew Wilson. In the second half Wilson racked up 58 yards on 10 attempts to help his team control the football.
Flinging the ball
North Montgomery never was able to get a consistent running game going, so they turned to quarterback Jaron Bradford. The senior threw 41 passes in the game completing 16. He ended the game throwing for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Seniors Kai Warren and Kade Kobel were Bradford’s favorite target, Warren caught seven passes for 62 yards and Kobel caught six passes for 55 yards.
Lebanon 35, North Montgomery 30
N. Montgomery 6 8 8 8- 30
Lebanon 7 7 14 7- 35
Score by quarters
Leb 5:09 Drew Kaylor 3-yard run, Caden Boggess kick
NM 1:30 Keifer Carmean 48-yard fumble return, conversion failed
Leb 10:10 Harker 21-yard pass to JC Reece, Boggess kick
NM :31 Carmean 7-yard pass to Carmean, Kade Kobel pass from Jaron Bradford
Leb 8:23 Drew Wilson 1-yard run, Boggess ki
Leb 3:59 Harker77-yard pass to Reese
NM 1:25 Kobel 7-yard run, pass to Kolton Scrimmager
LEB 10:41 Harker 21-yard pass to Reese, Boggess kick
NM 3:52 Kobel 24-yard pass from Bradford, Bradford 2-point conversion
First downs 14 16
Att/yards rushing 31-58 38-102
Passing yards 158 168
Total yards 216 270
Fumbles/lost 1/0 3/2
Penalties 7/53 9/60