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SECOND HALF EFFORT PROPELS LIONS

Cleveland offense leads way in 42-21 victory
September 10, 2005
Mike Parris

Midway through the third quarter, the Lions' looked up at the scoreboard at Cincinnati Princeton HS and saw an unusual sight. Not only were they in a hard-fought tied game, but the Kings Comets had lit up the vaunted Lions' defense for 21 points.

It was at that point the Cleveland offense took charge. Using a 10 play, 68 yard drive, the Lions took the lead on a 7-yard Chip McClain touchdown run and never looked back.

The game started as usual, as the Lions' defense and special teams came up big. After forcing the Comets into a three-and-out on their first possession, Cleveland's Lawrence Vickerstaff fielded the ensuing punt at his own 40 yard line. He handed the ball off to fellow return man Rico Franklin who proceeded to go untouched for a 60-yard touchdown and early 7-0 Cleveland advantage.

The teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter, as the Comets' tied the game with a 27 yard strike from QB Ross Sferra to Daryl Moore. Cleveland responded on their following drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge by FB Ronnie Johnson. With :18 seconds remaining in the half, Sferra found Moore in the endzone a second time. The touchdown knotted the game at 14-14 as the teams entered halftime.

Following a fumbled punt snap on the Comets' first possession of the third quarter, the Lions' took over deep in Kings' territory. Cleveland wasted no time as QB Jon Hunek found TE Mike Parris down the middle of the field for a 23-yard scoring strike. Joe Lindway tacked on the extra point for a 21-14 lead.

Sferra and the Comets came roaring back, however, using a long 8 play, 60 yard drive to once again knot the score. Sferra connected with a wide-open Billy Back from 16 yards out. It was Sferra's third touchdown pass on the evening. The score was 21-21 and the Lions were on the ropes.

The Chip McClain touchdown gave Cleveland the lead they never relinquished. McClain added a second touchdown later in the fourth quarter. He finished the night with 113 yards on 16 carries.

Lions' quarterback Jon Hunek and WR Melvin Stewart helped out in the offensive explosion. Hunek went 9-17 for 169 yards and 2 TD. Stewart caught five balls for 111 yards including a 75 yard touchdown late in the fourth that put the game out of reach.

Despite the Comets' offensive success, several members of the Lions' defense registered standout performances. LB Tim Weeks recorded 5.5 tackles, including 3.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. Safety Jerry Adams added 8 tackles and a forced fumble.

The Lions (9-0, 6-0 MCFL) remain the #2 ranked team in the country by the American Football News. Rankings can be viewed at http://www.afn.shorturl.com.

Cleveland returns to the road, traveling to Kentucky next weekend to take on the Louisville Bulls. Kickoff is at 7:30. The Lions return home for their final regular season home game on Sepetember 24th when they face the Central Ohio Lions. Continue to support the Lions as they look to repeat as MCFL champs!

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