The London Junior Varsity football team traveled to Liberty Union Saturday, Sept. 30, and dropped its first game of the season 20-12.
The host Lions took the opening kickoff and marched 13 plays down the field. The Red Raiders had apparently held on a fourth-and-eight play when a late flag for pass interference gave the Lions a first-and-goal situation. They then scored on the next play to take a 6-0 lead.
London tied the score on the last play of the half, when Logan Minner hit Jackson Jones with a 39-yard scoring pass.
On the opening kickoff for the second half, London lost the on-side kick, and the Lions scored on a five-play drive to take a 14-6 advantage. Liberty Union upped its lead to 20-6 with a 44-yard pass play on the first play of the fourth quarter.
With 7:40 left in the game, Logan Minner hit Noah McClintock on a scoring strike to close the score to 20-12. London held on the next series, and mounted a 12-play drive that ended at the Lions 28-yard line as the clock ran out.
The game was marred by penalties, as the Red Raiders were flagged 14 times for 110 yards, and the Lions six times for 65 yards, which combined was more yardage than either team was able to accumulate for the game.
The Raiders offense was led in rushing by Logan Minner and Caleb Sollars with 35 and 38 yards respectively. Jones had two catches for 41 yards and McClintock caught three for 23. Richie Geib had 11 tackles, with 2.5 for losses, and recovered a pair of fumbles. Saif Ullah had seven tackles and Dylan Crawford had five for the Raiders defense.
London falls to 3-1 for the season, and is scheduled to play at Grandview Saturday.
Jim Smith is a a contributor of The Madison Press.