Emma Vargas, Correspondent
Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – An exciting, back-and-forth district matchup took place in Gene Cox Stadium last night between the Chiles High Timberwolves and the Leon High Lions, who were also celebrating their seniors. After a struggle in the middle of the game, the Lions held on and defeated Chiles 28-21, sealing their spot in the Playoffs.
Leon was soundly ahead of the Timberwolves by the end of the first half. Senior James Peterson, who accounted for 60 yards of Leon’s total running game, scored his first of two touchdowns on the night halfway through the first quarter. Chiles, meanwhile, struggled with their passing and running, as they only threw for 57 yards and rushed less than 20 yards the first half.
Timberwolves quarterback, Avery Thomas, experienced difficulty in finding an open man and making complete passes throughout the first half. Leon also made a field goal in each quarter, one from 45 yards and another from the 18-yardline, wrapping up the first half leading 13-0.
A seemingly new Chiles team appeared at the start of the second half. Leon senior quarterback, Tyhran Glasco, who had a decent night overall with a total of 122 pass yards, threw his only interception of the night, which resulted in a Timberwolves touchdown in the first minute of the second half. The Chiles momentum only increased from there.
A blocked Leon punt led to the Timberwolves’ wide receiver, Curtis Hatch, scoring one of his two touchdowns for Chiles, pushing the Timberwolves ahead of Leon 14-13. Leon, however, had an answer. The Lions mostly depended on rushing in the second half. Peterson scored his second touchdown of the night with a 17-yard sweep play to the right. Leon then made a successful two-point conversion to put them up 21-14 at the end of the third quarter, halting the Chiles momentum.
The Lions furthered their lead early in the 4th quarter with a 60-yard touchdown pass by Glasco, putting them up 28-14 over Chiles. However, later in the quarter a turnover on downs followed by a pass interference flag on Leon put Chiles in a convenient position to score another touchdown. Thomas threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Hatch, making the score 28-21 getting the Timberwolves closer halfway through the 4th quarter.
Seeing that running back, Shane Sanders, was being soundly stopped in the second half, Chiles looked to quarterback Thomas to keep them in the game. A few successful passes got the Timberwolves into the endzone in the final 47 seconds of the game, only to have the touchdown called back by a holding penalty. In an effort to tie the game at the final quarter’s end, Thomas threw his second interception of the night, which would end the game.
The Leon Lions will face Robert E. Lee High School in the first round of the 7A Region 1 playoffs, in Jacksonville, Friday November 11th.