Talk about a heartbreaker.
The Greenville Lions had a great opportunity to snap one of the state’s longest current losing streaks during Friday night’s home football opener but after rallying from 22 points down lost 56-49 in double overtime to the Frisco Heritage Coyotes. The loss left several of the Lions lying on the T.A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium field, exhausted and saddened after giving every ounce of energy and still coming up short.
“Tough one to lose,” said Lions coach Marvin Sedberry. “But the ol’ kids showed a lot of fight. When it gets overtime, it’s anybody’s game.”
Tyler Matthews gave the Lions a really big lift when he returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, when the Lions were trailing 36-14.
Greenville went on to outscore Heritage 28-0 in the third quarter to take a 42-36 lead after sophomore quarterback Spencer Gilbert II ran for touchdowns of 36 and 3 yards and Matthews ran for a 12-yarder. Gilbert then dashed in for the two-point conversion.
The visiting Coyotes rallied to tie it at 42-42 with 10:02 remaining on a 81-yard, eight-play drive topped off by a 10-yard keeper by quarterback Malik Walker, who finished with 309 yards of total offense. The Coyotes missed a chance to go back in front on a missed conversion kick.
Greenville had two opportunities to go back ahead in the fourth quarter, driving twice to the Heritage 28-yard line but missed field goals from 45 and 47 yards and the two teams went into overtime tied at 42-42.
Greenville lost the coin flip to start the first overtime and had to go first. Gilbert, who finished with 126 yards rushing on 22 carries, led the Lions on the scoring drive from the Heritage 25, dashing in from the 7. T.J. Hughes converted to put Greenville up 49-42.
But the Coyotes converted a fourth-and-three from the Greenville eight on the Coyotes’ first overtime possession as Walker fired an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jack Reagor. Bryce Crawford’s kick sent the game to a second overtime.
“We had them right there on the fourth down in overtime,” said Sedberry. “You need a stop.”
The Coyotes started with the ball from the Greenville 25 for the second overtime and scored immediately on a 25-yard pass from Walker to Chris Baez. Crawford converted.
Greenville got as close as the Heritage 18 on its second possession of the overtime but the Coyote defense turned back the Lions for two losses on the final two plays as Heritage snapped a nine-game losing streak dating back to last season to go 1-2 for the season.
The Lions dropped to 0-3 with their 33rd straight loss.
“These are the toughest ones to lose,” said Sedberry. “When you know you just gave everything you had to win it. The effort was there but if we made some plays earlier it wouldn’t have been overtime.”
Greenville finished with 448 yards of total offense, including 331 yards rushing. Matthews ran for 148 yards on 22 carries, scoring on a 2-yard run in the second quarter.
Greenville quarterback Treveon Heard, who was 4-of-9 passing for 70 yards, fired a 51-yard touchdown pass to D’erren Wilson in the first quarter. Wilson led the Lions with seven catches for 98 yards.
Talk about a heartbreaker.
A&M-C defender earns top conference honor
Texas A&M University-Commerce defensive lineman Charles Tuaau earned top honors, while the Lions were picked to finish sixth in the Lone Star Conference in preseason voting conducted by the league.
Tuaau claimed the preseason Defensive Player of the Year award for the LSC following a record-setting season in 2013 for the 7-5 Lions. Tuaau set school records for tackles for losses in a game (five) and season (25), plus for most sacks in a season (12 1/2). The 6-5, 310-pound senior from Wahiawa, Hawaii finished with 59 total tackles as he was selected as the J.V. Sikes Defensive Player of the Year in the conference as well as the defensive lineman of the year.
Greenville Lions' coaching staff lineup changes
Each summer the Greenville Lions’ coaching staff goes through a transition phase as some coaches move on to other schools and new coaches are hired to take their place.
This summer is no exception. There’s changes in the coaching staffs for the boys and girls programs that’ll involve the football, volleyball, boys soccer, powerlifting and softball teams.
Hail to the winner of three medals at Transplant Games
His nickname in Greenville is “Pee Wee,” but Oliver Hale is a big man on the tennis court and in the kitchen.
Hale, who is a 1971 graduate of Greenville High School, won three medals at the 2014 Transplant Games of America recently in Houston while competing in the 60-and-over age category. He won a gold medal in men’s doubles, a silver in men’s singles and a bronze in mixed doubles along with playing partner Irena Bucci.
Free youth football camp planned
Second year Texas A&M University – Commerce Head Coach Colby Carthel and his coaching staff will be the directors of a free A&M Commerce Youth Football Camp.
Officially for the record
Two former Greenville schools are now officially recognized for their accomplishments in sports through new signage at the T. A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium.
LeBron: I'm heading back to Cleveland
Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio.
Commerce to host Dixie Softball tournament
The city of Commerce has partnered with the Dixie Softball to host the Darlings and the Debs Softball State Tournament at the Eddie Moore Sports Complex again this year.
Coach Steve Guffey touched many lives
Steve Guffey was a true sportsman in every sense of the word.
Guffey, who died on Saturday at the age of 50, was a standout athlete and coach, who was also an avid golfer, angler and hunter. He was an educator. teacher, mentor and a friend to many who’ve been paying their tributes online and at candlelight vigils on Sunday in Ladonia and on Monday in Campbell. Guffey’s memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Campbell High School gymnasium, where he coached the Lady Indians’ basketball team the past 12 years.
A&M-Commerce hires Burton as women’s basketball coach
Lion women’s basketball experienced a homecoming of sorts on April when athletics director Ryan Ivey announced Jason Burton as the eighth women’s basketball coach in program history.
Lone Oak, Caddo Mills softball players make all-state team
Two players from Lone Oak and one from Caddo Mills earned second-team honors on the Texas Sports Writers Association’s Class 2A all-state softball team.
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- A&M-C defender earns top conference honor