The Lamar Tigers defeated the East Newton Patriots, 49-7, Friday night in a Big 8 Conference game. The Patriots held strong against the Tigers through the first half, but gave up 21 unanswered points in the third quarter.
Patriots coach Seth Johnson said, “This team has always been competitive up to the half. Look at our last two games, tonight and last week in Cassville, we just can’t seem to find a way to finish.”
Lamar (6-2, 4-2 Big 8) received a punt early in the first quarter and started their first possession on East Newton’s 43. Three plays later, Jared Beshore covered 14 yards to score with 9:47 on the clock. Of the 43 yards the Tigers gained on the drive, Beshore had 39.
With 6:53 left in the first quarter, Lamar’s Mark Bartlett intercepted an East Newton pass and ran 53 yards for the second touchdown.
The Patriots (0-8, 0-6) had a touchback on the ensuing kickoff and began an 80 yard drive for their first touchdown. Rocky Liveoak pushed across the goal line for the score, making it 14-7. The drive included runs by Liveoak, Ross Nagle, and Ian Plemmons, with Liveoak completions to Brandon Abbott.
The Tigers scored early in the second quarter when quarterback Levi Petersen kept the ball and scored on a short run. This time the extra point was unsuccessful and Lamar led 20-7.
East Newton started the next drive on its own 43-yard line and drove down to Lamar’s 12, but the drive fizzled out when Beshore intercepted a pass with 4:30 left in the quarter. Lamar used the turnover to drive down and score with 49 seconds left in the half on a Tripp Tucker to Beshore 32-yard pass.
The Tigers picked up two points on the conversion, making the score 28-7 at the half.
Johnson said of the second quarter, “Offensively, I was pleased with our drives but we just can’t come through when we get in the red zone. We should have gone into the locker room (at halftime) with one more touchdown and them having one less.”
The Tigers scored shortly after receiving the second half kickoff on a 15-yard run by Tucker with 11:25 on the clock.
On the next series, the Patriots moved the ball 52 yards down field but turned it over on downs at Lamar’s 23. The Patriots, for the second time in the game, stumbled when they had a shot at putting points on the board.
The Tigers took the turnover and pushed down the field until Ethan Taffner scored the sixth Tiger touchdown with 4:23 on the clock.
East Newton fumbled on their next series and Lamar once again capitalized. Petersen ran for a 36-yard score and Ben Baily split the uprights to make it 49-7, Lamar.
Page 2 of 2 - The Tigers ran for 328 yards in the game with Petersen tallying 123 yards. Beshore, meanwhile, carried 10 times for 109 yards.
Johnson summed it up; “We shot ourselves in the foot too many times to beat a team of this caliber. It’s not for lack of trying, I was very proud of our players’ effort.”
Next week, Lamar will play Aurora at home and East Newton will travel to Seneca.