The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Sports

November 10, 2012

ALPHA OMEGA FOOTBALL — Lions go undefeated in district

Alpha Omega players pumped about first trip to state football playoffs

HUNTSVILLE — Watch out Texas, here come the Lions.

The Alpha Omega Academy Lions stormed through their regular-season finale Saturday, beating the Northeast Christian Warriors 55-6 and loudly pronouncing their intentions for their first trip to the TAPPS Division I six-man state football playoffs.

“We’ve got to take it up another notch,” running back Chris Shirley said after rushing for 177 yards and four touchdowns. “We know that it’s going to get harder each time we go up. It’s serious business and we want to go all the way.”

Though the Lions clinched the TAPPS Division I District 5 championship last week, they knew they had to play their hearts out in order to clinch home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Lions did just that as they blew by Northeast Christian to finish 5-0 in District 5 play.

Playing at home later this week will be a huge advantage. The Lions host Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills on Saturday afternoon.

“We knew that this game was just as important as any of the other ones,” Shirley said after the Lions finished off the Warriors in the first half. “We wanted to come out and finish it as fast as we could.”

Because AOA was ahead by more than 45 points, the game was called at halftime and the Lions mildly celebrated another convincing victory.

The Lions are 4-1 when playing in their own backyard this season. During that span, they have outscored their opponents 206-72.

Saturday’s win also was the third one Alpha Omega has won by the mercy rule.

“We had to be ready for anything and it just turned out that it was a little more lopsided than we maybe hoped,” Lions coach Jeff Norris said. “We executed fairly well and I thought our starting defense was fairly solid.

“Overall, I’m happy because we’re district champs.”

The Lions held the Warriors to a mere 106 yards of total offense. Dakota Reeves played a monster game as he recorded two tackles for losses and dominated the line of scrimmage for two quarters.

It didn’t take long for the Lions to get on the board after AOA’s defense forced a three-and-out on the Warriors’ 25 yard line.

Running back Garrett Garrison ran for 18 yards into the red zone. On the next play, quarterback Marco Pardo scored on a 7-yard run. Losha Thompson converted his first of six 2-point conversion kicks that made it 8-0.

That was just the beginning.

Shirley broke through an open seam that was created by Pardo’s block and went 37-yards for a touchdown that capped a three-play, 43-yard drive. Shirley later intercepted a pass and returned it for a 37-yard touchdown. Thompson’s 2-point conversion increased it to 24-0.

Shirley also returned a punt 37 yards for another score to increase the lead to 32-0.

The Lions added three more scores on a touchdown run by Shirley (40 yards), Garrison (2 yards) and a fumble recovery in the end zone by senior Johnathan Osborne.

With their goals for the regular season accomplished, the Lions know that they have to up their game if they want to make it far in the playoffs.

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