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Junior Lions beat back late Rosenwald rally attempt

Junior Lions beat back late Rosenwald rally attempt
Junior Lions beat back late Rosenwald rally attempt | Trenton Rosenwald Bears, Dresden Middle School Lions, Dresden Tennessee

A little extra — Dresden Middle School’s Gatlin Hatchel dives for extra yardage while teammate Eric VanDyke (48) looks for a Bear to block during the Junior Lions’ thrilling 30-20 win over visiting Trenton Rosenwald Tuesday night. Photo by Sara Reid
By Sara Reid
Special to The Press
A fourth quarter comeback proved to be too little too late for the Trenton Rosenwald Middle School Bears as the Dresden Middle School Lions survived being out-scored 14-0 in the final frame to take a 30-20 victory on the football field Tuesday night.
The Bears took first possession, but were quickly forced to punt and Dresden took over on its own 40-yard line. Gatlin Hatchel picked up three yards on first down, Eric VanDyke carried for six yards and on 3rd-and-short, Hatchel picked up the first down. Davis Moran connected with Hatchel on a five-yard pass. On the ground, Hatchel picked up 13 yards and Josh Bone ran for eight before Hatchel finished out the drive with a five-yard touchdown run with 1:17 left in the first quarter. The conversion failed, but the Lions took the 6-0 lead.
On first down from their own 36-yard line, the Bears only needed one play — a pass from Nijawon Miller to Kaelan Lester — to find the end zone. A missed conversion kept the score in a tie, 6-6, to end the first quarter.
Back on offense at the beginning of the second quarter, the Lions went to Hatchel on every play of the 50-yard drive with the exception of the final three-yard touchdown dash, which was completed by VanDyke with 4:03 left before halftime. Moran hit Bone for the conversion and the Lions jumped ahead, 14-6.
The Bears were forced to punt on their next series and Dresden quickly mounted another successful trip to the end zone. From the 36-yard line, Hatchel picked up three straight double-digit gains on the ground — 21, 10 and 13 yards — and capped off the drive with a six-yard touchdown run with 1:28 left in the half. Bone tacked on the conversion and the Lions took the 22-6 lead at the break.
In the third quarter, Dresden started on offense, but the Bears made a rare stop and forced a punt. Making steady progress down the field, the Bears chose to go for the first down on 4th-and-long, but Miller’s pass was picked off by VanDyke at the Bears’ 47-yard line.
Behind Hatchel and VanDyke, the Lions put together another scoring drive highlighted by a four-yard push into the end zone by VanDyke with 41.2 seconds left in the third frame. Bone’s conversion gave the Lions a commanding 30-6 lead, but the contest was far from over.
In the final quarter, the Bears went to work on a comeback. Miller ran 34 yards on first down and though he lost seven yards on a sack by the Lions, Dylan Slaton found the end zone on a 30-yard reverse. Miller ran in the conversion and with 7:07 left in the game, Trenton inched closer, 30-14.
Back on offense, the Lions ate up steady yardage, but on fourth down, fumbled the ball back to the Bears. Again, Trenton needed only one play — an 80-yard pass from Miller to Colin Abbott — to score. The conversion attempt was stuffed by the Lions, but the Bears climbed to within 10 points, 30-20, with 2:35 left in the game.
Getting the ball back, the Lions ran out the clock, stopped the Bear momentum and took the win.
Hatchel led the Lions with 232 total yards and two touchdowns in the victory. VanDyke also had two trips to the end zone.

Weakley County Press Sept. 27, 2007

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