An inopportune penalty hurt the Greenville Lions in a 20-14 football homecoming loss to the Corsicana Tigers on Friday night.
The Lions were responding to an early 7-0 deficit when quarterback Micah Simpson connected with wide receiver Degaryion Anderson on a 56-yard completion to the Tiger 8-yard line. But the Lions were flagged for an ineligible-receiver-downfield penalty. Instead of first and goal at the 8, they were backed up to their 31, losing a net 61 yards.
The Lions lost a fumble seven plays later that was returned by Corsicana defender Semaj Hervey for a 68-yard touchdown.
The Lions never could catch the Tigers as they fell to 1-5 for the season and 0-3 in District 8-5A-II.
Corsicana improved to 3-3 and 1-2.
Both teams played without their starting quarterbacks. The Lions’ Joe Galay was in street clothes as he participated in the pre-game homecoming ceremonies. Aniya Johnson was crowned as homecoming queen and Lion running back O.J. Johnson was crowned as homecoming king.
Corsicana lost starting quarterback Adrian Baston to an injury during the Tigers’ first series.
“With Joe being injured we knew making the change to quarterback would be a little bit of an adjustment,” said Lions coach Darren Duke. “We didn’t make enough plays offensively.”
Micah Simpson went the distance for the Lions at quarterback, rushing for 93 yards on 16 carries, including a 29-yard touchdown run. Simpson was also 9-of-12 passing for 118 yards. His 50-yard completion to Anderson set up the Lions’ first touchdown, a 9-yard run by wide receiver Zy Tyson on an inside reverse. Archer Odeneal booted both extra points.
The Lions matched the Tigers exactly in total yardage at 308 yards. Greenville rushed for 190 yards as Hue Pitts finished with 49 yards on nine carries and Johnson, the homecoming king, ran for 31 yards on seven carries.
Corsicana rushed for 276 yards, led by Anthony Young with a game-high 135 yards on 28 carries and Dontay Thomas, who took over at quarterback for the injured Baston. Thomas ran for 112 yards on 17 carries.
Jabril Douglas also played quarterback for the Tigers, rushing for a yard and completing two passes for a minus 2 yards.
Corsicana scored off a flea flicker on the game’s first possession with a 32-yard pass from wide receiver Ke’Aunte Thomas to an open Damerius Daniels in the end zone.
After that first drive, the Lion defense allowed Corsicana to cross the Greenville 10-yard line only one more time. Corsicana reached the Greenville 5-yard line on its last possession of the first half and scored a touchdown that was wiped out by a holding call. Corsicana had to settle for a 33-yard field goal by Jovany Torres.
Torres also booted a 40-yard field goal when the Tigers drove from their 35 to the Lion 23.
“We’re playing better defensively,” said Duke, nothing that was an area the Lions needed improvement.
Karmello Brown of Greenville recovered a Corsicana fumble to stop one Tiger threat at the Greenville 41.