Longhorns Hold Off Lions 29-26

The Jones Longhorns (3-2) outlasted the Chandler Lions (2-3) on the first Friday Night in October to improve to 2-0 in district play. The Longhorns were led by Senior Quarterback and Iowa Commit Carson May, who was 21-31 for 232 yards and four Touchdowns. Chandler did most of their damage on the ground, with sensational running back Casmen Hill racking up 212 yards on 27 carries and QB Kaden Jones rushing for three TDs.

In the beginning it looked like the Longhorns might run away with the contest. May was able to connect with a trio of receivers for TDs in the first half. On the Longhorns opening possession, May would find Cayden Karl in the end zone for a 22-yard score. That would be the only score of the first quarter. On the Longhorns first possession of the 2nd Quarter May connected with Emmett Murphy on a 32-yard pass. Braydon Scott picked off Chandler QB Kaden Jones three plays later which set up a 29-yard TD reception by Luke Huckaby on 4th and 6. Chandler was able to get on the scoreboard with 1:26 left until halftime which would send the teams to the locker room with Jones leading 21-6.

On the last play of the 1st half, Carson May was intercepted for the first time this season. Little did the crowded Tim Wallace Memorial Stadium know, but the odd play would foreshadow the shift in momentum for the second half.

After the Longhorns punted twice and the Lions punted once, Chandler was able to score on 29-yard run from Kaden Jones. The two-point conversion failed and Chandler still trailed 21-12. On the Longhorns next possession the team was able to move the ball down to the Lion 5 yard line, but the Longhorns couldn’t convert a 4th and goal. The Chandler Lions then went on a nine play, 95 yard drive capped off by a 50-yard TD run by Kaden Jones. Jones now thinly held to a 21-20 lead with a little over 11 minutes to play.

When the season is over, we will likely look back at the 4th Quarter of the Chandler game as a defining moment for the season. The Lions had scored 20 unanswered points and clearly had all of the momentum on their side. Carson May engineered an 11 play, 72-yard drive that culminated with another Karl touchdown on a 4th and goal from the 7 yard line. After the two-point conversion, the Longhorns were up 29-21. The Lions only needed four plays to notch another score, the highlight of the drive was a 67-yard rush by Hill. After a Longhorn punt the Chandler Lions had the ball at their own 48-yard line with 4:27 left on the clock, trailing 29-26. After a few short runs by Hill, the Longhorn defense was able to contain Hill and sack Jones to force a 4th and 24. The Chandler QB had nowhere to throw and the Longhorns took over on downs. After running the clock down to 0:52, the Longhorns punted the ball to the Lion 16 yard line. Kaden Jones would throw four incomplete passes and the game would end at 29-26.

Great teams find ways to win ballgames. Looking back at the game against Chandler Friday night, Coach Martin’s team was able to deliver a gutsy performance, twice scoring on 4th down plays and disrupting a Chandler Offense that was starting to click in the second half.

The recent series with Chandler has some interesting statistics. This is the fifth year in a row that Jones has topped Chandler, but amazingly the margin of victory has decreased in each contest:

YearScoreMargin of Victory
201758-652
201839-039
201942-2913
202027-1512
202129-263

The Longhorns have another “close-to-home” road trip as they travel to Northwest Oklahoma City to take on the Crossings Christian Knights on Friday October 8, 2021 at 7:00

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