Houston Dominates 2nd Half to Hold Off Lycans
It was a tale of two halves Sunday night in Los Angeles. The Lycans took control early and lead 10-0 at the half. However, it was the Hyenas who came out ready to play in the second half, outscoring the home team 29-12 for the final two quarters. With the 29-22 win, Houston improves to 3-4 on the season. The Lycans drop to 3-5, feeling like they let another one slip through their hands.
The first half was controlled by the Lycans and their defense. Rachelle Colston (birthday girl) and Mike Scott each picked off Houston QB Dave Burr to set up great field position. Not to mention the punting of Sid O’Lindy pinning the Hyenas deep in their territory. Robert Johnson would pound in his eighth rushing touchdown of the season from the goal line for a 7-0 Lycans lead after Rob Emms converted the PAT with 1:04 left in the first quarter. After forcing a punt, the Lycans would get the ball back around the Hyenas 45-yard line. Sully Richardson would drive LA down to the two before Emms would hit a 19-yard field goal to cushion the lead to 10-0 with 3:49 to go before the half.
The second half saw the Houston defense turn the tide in the game, led by David and KT Horrell. After a stop at their 31-yard line, Dave Burr would find Kyle Finamore up and over the Lycans defense for a 56-yard touchdown. Sunny Jay would connect on the PAT to make the score LA 10 Houston 7 with 8:17 in the third quarter. Colston would get her second birthday pick on the next possession but could get nothing going offensively, settling for another Emms field goal from 46 yards away to give the Lycans a 13-7 lead with 4:05 remaining in the third quarter. Then all the sudden the running lanes were open for the Hyenas. Brad Jones would find the endzone with a five-yard rush to push Houston ahead 14-13 after the Jay PAT. The Lycans would answer back, driving the ball with a balance of run and pass down to the six-yard line, but would once again have to settle for an Emms 26-yard field goal to retake the lead 16-14 with 9:20 left in the game. Burr led his team right back down the field for another lead change. Jones would score again from six yards out for a 21-16 Hyena advantage after the Jay PAT with 5:54 to go in regulation. Guess what? Another lead change on the next possession by Los Angeles, as Richardson took his team down the field in a hurry, finding Chris Lee, Davius Reid, and Elzie Pryor with a little Johnson on the ground for good measure. The aforementioned Johnson would put the Lycans back on top with a three-yard run with 2:46 remaining for a 22-21 lead. The two-point conversion failed as Johnson came up just short on the try. The Hyenas would answer the score with one of their own. Burr would convert a couple of big third downs before finding Finamore once again over the top on the right side of the field to get deep into Lycan territory. Randy Pierce scored from eight yards out on a pass over the middle two plays later to put this topsy-turvy game over to Houston at this point 29-22 after the Jones two-point conversion. A forty-two-yard kick return by Pryor would set the Lycans up at their own 49-yard line with fifty-five seconds left. Richardson would find Johnson, Jack Flash, Pryor, and Reid but came up short on fourth down at the Houston eighteen-yard line to turn the ball over on downs and give the game to the Hyenas.
Dave Burr was 24-32 passing for 323 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Brad Jones ran nineteen times for sixty-five yards and two touchdowns. DR Sim hauled in six balls for 119 yards, while Kyle Finamore grabbed four for 114 yards and a TD. Randy Pierce caught three balls on the final drive for twenty-eight yards and a score. David Horrell led the Hyenas defense with fifteen tackles, while KT Horrell had eight stops including two TFLs and a half sack. Brady Clarke also had ten tackles, with Josh Rowe picking off a Richardson pass.
Sully Richardson was 30 of 39 through the air for 263 yards and one interception. Robert Johnson had twenty-eight carries for eighty-two yards and two scores, while making five catches for twenty-one yards out of the backfield. Elzie Pryor had ninety-eight yards receiving on six grabs, Chris Lee had eight catches for sixty-six yards, and Davius Reid hauled in seven balls for thirty-six yards. Jack Flash had three catches for twenty-seven yards, while Terrance Weary had one grab for fifteen yards. Rachelle Colston led the defense with eight tackles and two interceptions. Ryan Yoseph and Buddy Blaze chipped in seven stops apiece. Mike Scott had an interception, while Gary Marx managed a sack. Ace Blackwell and Danny Stinson each had a TFL. Rob Emms converted both his PATs, and he made all three of his field goal attempts, the longest being from forty-six yards away.