Ready, set, roar

Lions football

The Lions defense were ready to fight for the win during Saturday’s game. Of the four touchdowns for the Lions, three were accomplished on the defensive side instead of the offensive.
The Lion’s Roar / Megan Simon

The Lions football team did not disappoint fans with their first home game after they ran off the field with a 28-17 victory over the Florida Tech Panthers.

Early in the game, it was established that the defense players would not be contained.

“We didn’t execute as well as we needed to on offense, but it was great to get [freshman quarterback] Donovan Isom some important experience,” said Head Coach Ron Roberts, “Our defense stepped up and made some big plays tonight, and that was the difference.”

Within the first quarter, the Lions had scored two touchdowns and put immediate stops on the Panthers’ first four drives, resulting in turnovers. 

The first touchdown was in the 10th minute after junior defensive lineman Solomon Parker recovered a seven-yard fumble and booked it across the field, evading opposing players with the help of his fellow defensive teammates.

Senior defensive lineman Ashton Henderson accomplished nearly the same thing in the seventh minute when a fumble at the 45 yard line found its way into his hands, and after turning around with it, stiff armed an opponent and made his way to the end zone, protected by his teammates.

The Panthers responded with their own strength and after winning a 44-yard field goal with 33 seconds left in the quarter; the Panthers scored their first touchdown.

In the second quarter, the Panthers continued to hold off the Lions and score again in the first few seconds of the second half.

However, the Panthers were not the only ones causing trouble on the field when what appeared to be two male university students jumped the fence on the north side of the field while being cheered on by the crowd. The students then ran across field, pumping their fists in the air on the side of the students’ section. The runners’ identities have not been confirmed, but students have their own ideas on who the culprits might have been.

“It looked like two fraternity guys,” said senior computer science major Adam Callender. “And after they jumped the hedge, I saw a security guard chasing them too. I think they were just playing around, with this being the first home game, and all.”

The culprits were arrested and jailed. The perfect ending to a cautionary tale. 

After a high energy halftime show, the Lions and Panthers faced off again, neither willing to give up, until the Lions finally took the lead in the final quarter with a two-yard drive by senior running back Xavier Roberson.

Sophomore defensive back Demareyeh Lane followed suit when he caught an interception at the 58 yard line and took it home in the 11th minute. For the rest of the final quarter, the Lions forced the Panthers to stay at bay through multiple turnovers, sealing the fate of the game as a win for the Lions.

The Lions will set out to play the Bobcats of Ohio University next Saturday at 1 p.m. in Athens, Ohio.

For more stats on last week’s game and information for upcoming games, visit lionsports.net.